I’ve almost recovered from the literary extravaganza of last week’s London Book Fair, which was my favourite so far. Given that I’m quite pushed for time over the next week or two — with a major deadline, a house-move and the beginning of a dalliance/life-changing adventure [delete later as appropriate] in location independence — I’ll keep my post on the Fair short and sweet, with a round-up of my top five:
1) Meeting so many existing members of the Emerging Translators Network, recruiting new ones, and hearing about how much we’re all benefiting from having a platform to share our ideas and experiences with other literary translators. It was also wonderful to see the Literary Translation Centre overflowing, as it has been every year since it began, and to feel the energy vibrating around it and drawing people in. All thanks to Daniel Hahn’s excellent organisation and commitment to the LTC.
2) Meeting the author Anna Kim in person after a great exchange of emails when I translated her text ‘London Calling’ for the Ingeborg Bachmann book Zwei Wochen England, published earlier this year by Sonderzahl. Anna was in conversation with Rosie Goldsmith in the PEN Literary Cafe about her work and winning the European Union Prize for Literature. Her latest novel, Anatomy of a Night, has just been published in English translation (tr. by Bradley Schmidt) by the exciting new e-books publisher Frisch & Co.
3) Chairing a panel discussion on ‘Becoming a Literary Translator’ with wonderful panelists Katy Derbyshire, Thomas Bunstead and Anna Kelly. It was a really enjoyable experience and rushed by far too quickly. The full panel discussion, along with all the others in the LTC, will be online at some point in the not too distant future, so I’ll post a link when it is.
4) Meeting author, translator, publisher and all-round how-does-he-do-it-bundle of energy Lawrence Schimel, and discovering his beautiful A Midsummer Night’s Press and its poetry publications. On the final evening, when ETN members headed off to a nearby roof terrace for an LBF wrap-party, I was so engrossed in one of their slender volumes (one of Schimel’s own, ‘Deleted Names’), that he told me I could keep it in exchange for re-joining the conversation. I’ve been dipping into it every evening since.
5) Discovering my new favourite London pizzeria at Rocca di Papa in South Kensington when the ETN wrap-party re-located due to intense hunger. Not strictly book-related, but we talked about the Fair, and the pizza was the best I’ve had outside of Italy or Argentina.
A big thanks to everyone who was involved in the LTC at this year’s book fair — I’m already excited for 2014.