This official prompt for this week on Women in Translation Month is Northern & Western Europe. I am all over this. And I’m starting with another absolute star of the field.
Being a brilliant writer in one language takes skill. Doing the same thing in two different languages is an amazing achievement. It is one thing to be able to speak two languages. Being good enough to write brilliant fiction is quite another. As an example, Zoran Živković is perfectly capable of creating readable translations of his novels for marketing to agents and publishers, but he knows he isn’t good enough with English to do without a professional translator to make the English language versions really sing.
Karin Tidbeck is the sort of quiet genius who can write brilliant fiction in her native Swedish, and then translate it to English so well that she wins awards for the English versions too. She also has one of the weirdest imaginations I have ever come across. Her collection, Jagannath, was by far the best-selling book in the old e-book store when I was running it. You can find my review here. Just in case you don’t already have a copy, check the book out, it is brilliant.