Ellen Elias-Bursac has been translating novels and non-fiction by Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian writers for thirty years, including writing by David Albahari, Neda Miranda Blazević Kreitzman, Ivana Bodrozic, Svetlana Broz, Slavenka Drakulic, Dasa Drndić, Kristian Novak, Djurdja Otrzan, Robert Perisic, Igor Stiks, Vedrana Rudan, Slobodan Selenić, Antun Soljan, Dubravka Ugresić, Karim Zaimović.
She is president of the American Literary Translators Association.
She has taught at the Harvard Slavic Department, Tufts University, ASU and the New England Friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Filozofski fakultet of Zagreb University, and spent over six years at the ex-Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague as a translator/reviser in the English Translation Unit.
Awards and Recognition
- National Translation Award (ALTA), 2006, for English translation of David Albahari's novel Götz and Meyer.
- AATSEEL Award for the Best Translation from a Slavic or East European Language, 1998, for the English translation of David Albahari's Words Are Something Else.
- AATSEEL Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy, 2009, for Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, A Textbook, with Ronelle Alexander.
- Mary Zirin Prize, 2015, Association of Women in Slavic Studies.
- The MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work, 2019. Honorable Mention, with co-translator David Williams, for the English translation of Dubravka Ugrešić's novel Fox.