What does a translator do?

Well, this month I’ve been the guest blogger over at www.jeugditeratuur.org. I also told Pushkin Press, the publishers of Tonke Dragt’s The Song of Seven, about some of the places I go to translate. And I’ve been working away on this little beauty: Hoe Tortot zijn vissenhart verloor, by Benny Lindelauf and Ludwig Volbeda. It’s been a good month.

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Happy book birthday!

The Song of Seven, my translation of Tonke Dragt’s De Zevensprong is out today. Thanks to Pushkin Press for creating another beautiful edition, one that’s truly worthy of this fun and fabulous tale.

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The Bible for Unbelievers

I’m very pleased with this beautiful edition of Guus Kuijer’s The Bible for Unbelievers, which I translated for Seven Stories. Out now.

Bear the cat insisted on being in the picture, but I think it’s okay because I’m pretty sure he’s an unbeliever.

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New arrivals!

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A Hundred Hours of Bologna

Hoorah for the children’s book fair in Bologna! Looking forward to the publication of A Hundred Hours of Night by Anna Woltz.

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De Zevensprong

For a little inspiration during the final stages of my translation of Tonke Dragt’s De Zevensprong (to be published by Pushkin Press as The Song of Seven), I took a day trip to Ruurlo, where the television series was filmed in 1982. Here’s me at the actual Zevensprong! Which way now…?

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February fun

The Flemish Literature Fund organised another wonderful Publishers’ Tour in Flanders for children’s literature professionals. It was great to be able to take part in a session at the Vertalershuis in Antwerp, where Aline Sax and I introduced her work to publishers from nine different countries. German translator Rolf Erdorf talked to Michael De Cock & Judith Vanistendael about Rosie en Moussa, and Chinese translator Minya Lin presented Els Beerten and her work. Moderator Eva Devos did a great job of keeping us all on track! Now let’s hope that the publishers are inspired to pick up some great Flemish children’s books for translation… I’m rooting for Aline’s Grensgangers (sample available!), which is one of the very deserving nominees for the Gouden Lijst prize, along with Edward van de Vendel’s Oliver and Bart Moeyaert’s De hemel.

Oh yes… and Donald Gardner and I went to London to pick up the Vondel Prize for his translation of Remco Campert’s poems and my translation of Tonke Dragt’s The Letter for the King.

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Congratulations, Anna!

Hoorah! Many congratulations to Anna Woltz, who was awarded the Nienke van Hichtum prize for her book Honderd uur nacht today, for the best 13+ children’s book of the year. It’s a fantastic read and a deserving winner – and it will soon be coming out in my English translation in the United States, as A Hundred Hours of Night, published by the brilliant Arthur A. Levine. Gefeliciteerd! Here’s to many more great books by Anna!

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New arrival: Post Mortem

“An ingenious novel about a writer’s inspiration, a father’s love and a man’s fear of losing his legacy.

Emiel Steegman, a midlist author with a handful of novels to his name, is seeking a way to escape a dinner with a party of Estonian writers. He cancels at the last moment ‘owing to a somewhat difficult situation at home’.

A short while later a nasty feeling comes over him: is he inviting trouble for his family? And what if a biographer should stumble upon the correspondence? Would he not suspect that something significant had happened? Increasingly worried by what a future chronicler will have to say, Steegman begins to withdraw from public life.

Steegman’s initial misgivings prove well founded. Because fate does strike. One afternoon, his daughter RenĂ©e falls asleep and it proves impossible to wake her…”

Post Mortem by Peter Terrin, translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson. Published by MacLehose Press. Out now.

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New arrival: Hieronymus

I’m very pleased to see this latest arrival, Hieronymus by Marcel Ruijters, which I translated for Knockabout in the UK. Packed with great characters and so many, many little details from Bosch’s famous – and not so famous – works, this book is a fascinating exploration of the artist and the man. As 2016 is the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death, we can expect a lot more new titles celebrating his weirdly wonderful works. Excellent.

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