Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Talent of Translators at LBF

Maxine aka Petrona and I met up for day two of The London Bookfair. We weren't expecting the panel about South African crime fiction to go ahead but we went along anyway and luckily for us, Deon Meyer had been in Europe for a couple of weeks so was able to attend along with Gillian Slovo. The panel was moderated by the new CWA Chair, Tom Harper. After their interesting discussion about crime and crime fiction in the new and old South Africa, we got to shake hands with Deon Meyer and compliment him on Thirteen Hours.

After a pit-stop for coffee we headed back down to the floor and by chance passed the HarperCollins stand where we intercepted one of our favourite translators: Don Bartlett (interviewed on this blog). He brings to English-speaking crime fans, Jo Nesbo, K O Dahl and the most recently translated Gunnar Staalesen. Readers of The Strand magazine will be able to read a non-Harry Hole short story from Jo Nesbo in a future edition. It also sounds like Jo will be back in the country for the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival and possibly the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Gunnar Staalesen will be appearing at the Edinburgh Festival in conversation with Ian Rankin. Don says the next Harry Hole book, The Leopard, is around 700 pages. Roll on next March for that one.

Don suggested we go to the translators lounge, and after a detour at PanMacmillan, we did so and exchanged a few words with Ros Schwarz, co-translator of Dominique Manotti's books and Sarah Death editor of Swedish Book Review and were then introduced to Charlotte Barslund, translator of the three most recent (in English) Sejer books by Karin Fossum and Kari Dickson, translator of Anne Holt's Vik & Stubo series and finally we chatted to Anna Paterson who translated Missing by Karin Alvtegen and is now the news editor at Swedish Book Review.

On Monday I made a solo-run to LBF and met Neil Smith, manning the Swedish Arts Council stand with Sarah Death on behalf of the people unable to attend from Sweden. Neil is translating the new Liza Marklund, Red Wolf and also Liza's contribution to The Postcard Killers, co-written with James Patterson.

It was lovely to meet the translators who are responsible for bringing such great crime fiction to a wider audience.

1 comment:

Maxine Clarke said...

Oh Karen, thanks so much for writing up the day's events so well. It was such a wonderful day and I feel so priveleged to have met in person the translatrors of so many of my/our favourite books. They were all so interesting and lovely to talk to- they all really love their authors and their work. And meeting Don by chance (what is this "one of" our favourite translators?!) was icing on the cake, he was so generous with his time in talkign to us. I'm still walking on air.

It was also fascinating to hear Deon Meyer, such an intelligent, independent man, and so gracious when we chatted to him after the seminar.

You forgot to mention that we passed Ian Rankin who was sitting on a bench in solitary splendour. It looked as if nobody was recognising him! ;-)