This week I have been working through the copy-editor’s queries on my translations of Jatakas from the Mahanipata. Sarah Shaw and I will be publishing our translation of these ten wonderful stories, understood to tell the final ten lives of the Bodhisatta, with Silkworm Books next year. It is really gratifying to see this project coming to a close, not least because the upcoming Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies is reminding me how long it has taken!
For me, this translation project came out of discussions at the 2008 IABS congress in Atlanta, which was held shortly before I submitted my PhD dissertation. The timing for such an ambitious project was perfect – I had completed my doctoral project and was looking forward to new avenues of work, and also keen- of course – to build a strong CV. Subsequent conversations with Sarah revealed that she too had been considering such a project, and so we began work in partnership.
So it is now six years since the IABS meeting at which I first contemplated this project. In the intervening years I have completed two other major projects – my Narrating Karma and Rebirth project, and the manuscript book Illuminating the Life of the Buddha, with Sarah Shaw and Toshiya Unebe – as well as starting my current Story of Story project. I have also moved house six times and worked at three different institutions, finally settling in Edinburgh.
And so a question has struck me this morning: what new projects will emerge out of the many conversations at next week’s IABS Congress in Vienna? And will I still be working on any of them in 2020?!