This year has been an extremely busy one with some very enjoyable and satisfying books to translate.
I’ve fulfilled a personal ambition: I was hoping to translate one novel from each of my three languages by the time I was 40. I’ve done that a bit early (not telling you how early!). It’s also been a longstanding ambition to get into children’s books, and I’ve started off with some pretty awesome fiction for middle grade/teens: Kathrin Rohmann’s Apple Cake and Baklava (from German) and Yulia Yakovleva’s The Raven’s Children (from Russian).
It’s been a pleasure to work on some fantastic non-fiction including a very stylish craft/DIY book for kids (Phaidon) and the first of two Peter Wohlleben books I’ve been asked to translate for Rider Books. Given the phenomenal success of Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees (translated by Jane Billinghurst), it’s a great honour to be trusted with two more of his delightful books. I very much enjoyed co-translating with the brilliant Jessica West this year and hope we might do another book together soon.
These are the books I’ve got coming out next year – including co-translations.
I translated Bird of Paradise by Sudanese author Rania Mamoun for what should be a brilliant collection of short stories, edited by Sarah Cleave for Comma Press.
Out on 25 January 2018
Darf don’t have the blurb up on their website yet, but as I wrote here, this gorgeous book is a novel for late primary kids and early secondary, about asylum, how it feels to be a refugee, parallels between WWII and Syria, grandmas, recipes, a lost walnut that means the world and a budding friendship between Max and Leila.
Out on 2 April
Now Make This! by Thomas Bärnthaler (Phaidon UK)
Co-translation with Jessica West
For the young makers in the family, this beautifully designed handbook offers 24 unique and practical objects for kids to make and use. Each project features fully-illustrated step-by-step instructions, a photographic list of materials, the approximate cost, timing, and a photograph of the finished product. The 24 contributors range from lauded graphic designers to successful industrial designers, all of whom considered this young audience in the creation of their projects. This unusual and engaging book of activities grants children access to world-class design in their very own homes, and may even inspire a few to become designers themselves! [Phaidon’s blurb]
Out on 27 April
The Raven’s Children, by Yulia Yakovleva (Puffin Books)
When Shura and Tanya’s parents and little brother suddenly disappear in the middle of the night, it’s rumoured that they have been taken by the mysterious Black Raven – and that their parents were spies.
Tanya and Shura are determined to find their family – and so Shura decides to hand himself in to the Raven. He is taken to the Grey House, where everyone is given a new name and a set of grey clothes, and everyone seems to forget their families and who they really are.
Now Shura must do everything he can to cling on to his memories, and to escape…
Out on 31 May
The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs, by Peter Wohlleben (Rider Books)
Translated with masses of help from Jessica West
The cover image isn’t public yet (can’t wait to see it!) so here’s the cover of the original German, which frankly doesn’t do this wonderful book justice. I adore the black and white illustrations within the book, but I’m not a fan of this cover.
Anyway, suffice to say that if you are in the slightest, tiniest bit interested in nature walks or gardening, you will LOVE this. I had so much fun translating it and yep, learned a ton about trees, soil types, compost, fungi, hair ice, plant galls, seed dispersal, bird song … all kinds of amazing things about nature that you can discover from the comfort of your garden or local green space. Despite the title, it’s about a lot more than just weather.
Out on 7 June