Launching The Extinction of Irena Rey - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities
Close Menu

Launching The Extinction of Irena Rey

Join us March 12 at 7pm at 101 Archer!

OCH will launch Jennifer Croft’s debut novel, The Extinction of Irena Rey, at 101 Archer.

Croft is a Presidential Professor here at TU, and she’s renowned for her translations of works from Ukrainian, Polish, and Argentine Spanish. She is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, MacDowell, and National Endowment for the Arts grants and fellowships, as well as the inaugural Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation, the 2018 Found in Translation Award, the 2018 International Booker Prize, and a Tin House Scholarship for her novel Homesick, originally written in Spanish. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, Granta, The Los Angeles Review of Books, BOMB, VICE, n+1, Electric Literature, Tin HouseLit Hub, Guernica, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa.

Croft will cover the novel in a conversation with TU Provost George Justice.

Read more about The Extension below:

Eight translators arrive at a house in a primeval Polish forest on the border of Belarus. It belongs to the world-renowned author Irena Rey, and they are there to translate her magnum opus, Gray Eminence. But within days of their arrival, Irena disappears without a trace.

The translators, who hail from eight different countries but share the same reverence for their beloved author, begin to investigate where she may have gone while proceeding with work on her masterpiece. They explore this ancient wooded refuge with its intoxicating slime molds and lichens and study her exotic belongings and layered texts for clues. But doing so reveals secrets-and deceptions-of Irena Rey’s that they are utterly unprepared for. Forced to face their differences as they grow increasingly paranoid in this fever dream of isolation and obsession, soon the translators are tangled up in a web of rivalries and desire, threatening not only their work but the fate of their beloved author herself.

This hilarious, thought-provoking debut novel is a brilliant examination of art, celebrity, the natural world, and the power of language. It is an unforgettable, unputdownable adventure with a small but global cast of characters shaken by the shocks of love, destruction, and creation in one of Europe’s last great wildernesses.

Magic City Books will be on site selling copies of the novel. A reception will follow the event, and Croft will be available for book-signing.

To stay up-to-date with OCH events, bookmark our homepage at or follow us on social media.