Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a literary translator working from Arabic, German and Russian into English.
She translates fiction and nonfiction, and has a particular interest in history, historical fiction, and writing for children and young adults.
Her translations include books from Germany, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Russia, Switzerland and Syria. See her full publications list here.
Ruth is a passionate advocate of world literature for young people and diversity in children’s publishing. She is co-editor of ArabKidLitNow! and Russophone Kid Lit blogs, and writes about global reading for young people at World Kid Lit, Words Without Borders, and World Literature Today.
Ruth gives creative translation workshops in schools, and promotes #WorldKidLitMonth in September.
- MA in Translation and Interpreting (University of Bath, 2006)
- CIOL Diploma in Translation: from Arabic (2013), from German and Russian (2004)
- MA Oxon Modern and Medieval Languages (University of Oxford, 2003)
- English PEN ‘PEN Translates’ Award for Brothers by Jackie Thomae (2022)
- Selected for the IBBY Honour List, with The Raven’s Children by Yulia Yakovleva (2022)
- English PEN ‘PEN Translates’ Award for The German Crocodile and Punishment of a Hunter (2020)
- English PEN ‘PEN Translates’ Award for A History of the World with the Women Put Back In (2019)
- Shortlisted for the GLLI Translated YA Prize with Trees for the Absentees (2020)
- Shortlisted for the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for literary translation from Arabic, with Trees for the Absentees (2020)
- Shortlisted for the Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, with Farewell to the Horse (2019)
- Shortlisted for The Arts Foundation fellowship in literary translation (2016)
- Member of the 2021 judging panel for the Society of Authors/Goethe-Institut Award for Translation from German
- Member of the Society of Authors/Translators’ Assocation committee, 2019-2021
- Examiner for Edexcel GCSE Arabic and Russian GCSE, and the CIOL Diploma in Translation
- Co-editor of World Kid Lit blog 2018-2021, secretary/administrator of Project World Kid Lit since 2019
- ALTA (American Literary Translators Association)
- IBBY UK
- ITI WRG (Institute of Translation and Interpreting Western Regional Group)
- SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
- Society of Authors (including the Translators’ Association)