Jordan took her first airplane flight at the age of three weeks and has been on the go ever since.
Born in British Columbia, Canada, she completed her studies at the Collège-Universitaire Saint Boniface before attending the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where she graduated with a BA (first class honours) in Romance Languages in 1986 and an MA in Italian literature in 1987. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Italian and French from the University of Toronto in 1992. Jordan’s interest in Italian language and culture took her to Italy where she studied at the Istituto Dante Alighieri in Florence, the Università per stranieri in Perugia and the Fondazione Cini in Venice. After completion of her graduate studies, Jordan taught Italian language and literature at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta in Canada, as well as the State University of New York before moving to Naples, Italy to take up a post doctoral fellowship at the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Storici.
After scouring countless bookstores throughout Europe and North America (in the days before amazon!), Jordan was discouraged to find that there was no introductory history to Naples and its rich culture available so decided to write one herself. While writing and researching In the Shadow of Vesuvius, she moved to London where she began studying translation. Her background in literary studies and extensive academic preparation in teaching Italian literature combined with translation skills lead to the first of many literary translation commissions. Jordan is constantly in demand to work with cultural organisations, authors, directors, actors and musicians in translating lyrics, poetry, drama and novels and she often lectures on topics associated with translation and culture. In 2003, her work in the field of translation and education was recognised with the Chrystal Trophy, awarded by the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
Jordan served for 7 years as a trustee of the British Italian Society and was editor of the society’s magazine, Rivista. Jordan is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and an active member or the Institute of Translating and Interpreting and the Society of Authors. Her articles on various cultural and literary topics have appeared in numerous scholarly journals published in Europe and North America as well as in newspapers such as The Catholic Herald, La Voce and La Notizia.
As well as developing her cultural and literary interests, Jordan has a keen sense of social responsibility and is very committed to promoting educational opportunities for young people, especially those living in less than fortunate circumstances. St Jerome, the patron saint of linguists, translated the original Greek and Hebrew texts of the Holy Bible into Latin whilst living in a cave in Bethlehem. In this same city, Jordan is working to provide scholarships for local students whose families are currently suffering economic hardship. Much of her charitable work is also based in Jordan, where she supports a girls’ orphanage and school in Anjara, Ajloun province. Given her tireless efforts in interfaith dialogue projects in the Middle East and her extensive social justice work in promoting children’s education in the Holy Land, she was named Britain’s Catholic Woman of the Year in 2010.
When she isn’t writing or translating, Jordan might be found rolling out gnocchi at a cookery course in Sicily, tapping frantically into her iphone in the departures lounge at Heathrow terminal 5, practising tango moves at a milonga in Buenos Aires, floating on the Dead Sea as she contemplates the meaning of life, admiring bluebells in Sussex, jogging around the reservoir in Central Park or possibly just entertaining friends at home…her
red velvet cake is legendary…