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Translators

Vagabond Voices continues to celebrate translations and its translators. It is proper that translators are occasionally invisible (particularly when the reader is busy suspending disbelief), as their task is to present the authors and not themselves to the reader. But the actual words are not the authors’, but the translators’, and it is also proper that the reader recalls the presence of this intricate and generous craft. For more information about translation, please visit our Think in Translation pages.


 
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Over the last fifteen years, Jayde Will has translated works on various aspects of Baltic history, culture and society, along with its literatures. Recent or forthcoming translations include Latvian writer Daina Tabūna’s short story collection The Secret Box (The Emma Press), Latvian poet Inga Pizāne’s poetry collection Having Never Met (A Midsummer Night’s Press), Latvian poet Eduards Aivars’s collection Phenomena (Parthian Books), and Latvian poet Artis Ostups’s collection Gestures (Ugly Duckling Presse). His articles, essays and short stories have been published or are forthcoming in Words without Borders, In Other Words, Lituanus, satori.lv and Kultūrzīmes. His most recent translation with Vagabond Voices is the forthcoming Memoirs of a Life Cut Short (2018).

 
 
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Chris Moseley

Christopher Moseley is a translator from Estonian, Latvian, Finnish and the Scandinavian languages. Originally from Australia, he originally came to Britain to study Scandinavian languages in 1974, but since then his main interests have slipped eastwards, to Finland and the Baltic countries. While working as a journalist and translator specialising in Baltic affairs at BBC Monitoring, Caversham, he completed an M.Phil., also at SSEES, on the dying Livonian language of Latvia – a close relative of Estonian. After nineteen years’ service at the BBC, he became a freelance translator and editor in 2005. He is the author of Colloquial Estonian and co-author of Colloquial Latvian for Routledge. He has translated novels from Estonian by Indrek Hargla, Andrus Kivirähk, Ilmar Taska, and most recently A.H. Tammsaare (for Vagabond Voices).

 
 
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Karla Gruodis

Karla Gruodis is a translator, editor and artist based in Vilnius, where she founded and edited Lithuania's first English-language newspaper, The Lithuanian Review, in 1990. She is the editor and author of Feminist Excursus: The Concept of Woman from Antiquity to Postmodernism (Pradai, 1995), and was active in the post-Soviet Lithuanian women’s movement. Her translations include Leonidas Donskis’s A Small Map of Experience: Aphorisms and Reflections (Guernica, 2013), Antanas Škėma’s White Shroud (Vagabond Voices, 2018), Sigitas Parulskis’s Darkness and Company (Peter Owen, 2018), and regular contributions to the online literary journal Vilnius Review.

 
 
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Ieva Lešinska

Ieva Lešinska-Geibere (Ieva Lešinska) was born in 1958, attended secondary school in Riga and went on to study English at the University of Riga. From 1978 to 1987 she lived and worked in the USA, studying at Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, before moving to Sweden in 1987 to work as a freelance journalist and translator, while pursuing a Master of Arts in Baltic Philology at the University of Stockholm. She currently lives in Riga, where she works as chief translator at the Bank of Latvia, and as a freelance journalist and translator. She has translated the work of Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost, D.H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot and various American Beat Generation poets into Latvian, and has published numerous English translations of poems and prose by Latvian authors in periodicals and anthologies in the UK and the US. In 2011, an anthology of Six Latvian Poets, selected and translated by Ieva, was published in the UK by Arc and, in 2014, the same publisher released Come to Me, a book of poems by Kārlis Vērdiņš in Ieva’s translation. She also translated Latvian writer Pauls Bankovskis’ novel 18, which was published by Vagabond Voices in 2017.

 
 
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Matthew Hyde

Matthew Hyde is a literary translator from Russian and Estonian to English. He has had translations published by Pushkin Press, Dalkey Archive Press (including the Best European Fiction anthology for the last four years running), Words without Borders and Asymptote. Prior to becoming a translator, Matthew worked for ten years for the British Foreign Office as an analyst, policy officer and diplomat, serving at the British Embassies in Moscow, and Tallinn, where he was Deputy Head of Mission. After that last posting Matthew chose to remain in Tallinn with his partner and young son, where he translates and plays the double bass. He has recently recorded an album of his own compositions with leading Estonian jazz musicians: Nordic Blues, available on bandcamp. He translated The Death of the Perfect Sentence for Vagabond Voices in 2017.

 
 
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Allan Cameron

Allan Cameron was born in 1952, grew up in Nigeria and Bangladesh, and lived as a young adult in Italy. He has written two novels, The Golden Menagerie (Luath Press, 2004), partly based on Apuleius's The Golden Ass but also a polemic against it, and The Berlusconi Bonus (Luath Press, 2005), a political satire principally directed at Western consumerism, the policies of Bush and Blair, and Fukuyama's now disowned victory song of American capitalism. His non-fiction work, In Praise of the Garrulous (2008), is an examination of the essentiality of language to human nature. His two collections of short stories, Can the Gods Cry? and On the Heroism of Mortals, were published in 2011 and 2012.

Over the years, he has translated twenty-four books (including The Anonymous Novel (2016)), and his two collections of poetry, Presbyopia and A Barrel of Dried Leaves, were published in 2009 and 2016. Giving the lie to rumours of a drunken demise shortly after completing a book translation (Cinico: Travels with a Good Professor at the Time of the Scottish Referendum), he continues to live in Glasgow and is reputedly in good health.

 
 
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Peter Graves

Peter Graves is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh. Born in the Rhondda in 1942, he studied German and Swedish at the University of Aberdeen before lecturing in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Aberdeen and at the University of Edinburgh. Since retiring in 2008 he has been a translator of literature and history. Among his translations are retranslations of Swedish classics by August Strindberg and Selma Lagerlöf; translations of contemporary novels such as Peter Fröberg Idling’s Song for an Approaching Storm (Pushkin Press, 2014) and Lars Sund’s A Happy Little Island (Vagabond Voices, 2016); works of history such as Peter Englund’s The Beauty and the Sorrow (Vintage, 2012); and several books for young people, for instance, Jakob Wegelius’s The Murderer’s Ape (Pushkin Press, 2017). He has received a number of prizes and commendations for his work.

 
 
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Susan Wilson

Susan Wilson completed a BA in French and Spanish and an MA in Translation, and subsequently joined the FCO in London as a staff translator, where she was trained in Italian, Finnish and Estonian. She has worked as a freelance translator since 2004, focusing on institutional texts and reports, with occasional literature thrown in to beautify the workload. She translated Jaan Kaplinski’s The Same River (Peter Owen, 2009), and her translation of Mari Saat’s The Saviour of Lasnamäe was published by Vagabond Voices in November 2015.

 
 
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Harry Watson

Harry D. Watson was born in 1946 in Crail, Fife, and grew up in neighbouring Cellardyke in the parish of Kilrenny, the subject of his book Kilrenny and Cellardyke: 800 Years of History (1986). He has also written a literary biography of his distant relative, the Anstruther-born poet and scholar William Tennant, as well as numerous articles on local and family history. A graduate in Scandinavian Studies of University College London, he is an active literary translator from Swedish and has translated biographies of several notable Swedes (Axel Munthe, Raoul Wallenberg) and the Russian poet Mayakovsky as well as novels by Magnus Florin – including The Garden, published by Vagabond Voices in 2014. After teaching English and EFL for nine years in Sweden, Germany, England and Scotland, he became an assistant editor of the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue at Edinburgh University, retiring in 2001 as director and senior editor. He is married with two sons and lives in Edinburgh.

 
 
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Mirna Cicioni

Mirna Cicioni was born in Rome and lives in Melbourne. She has worked as a university lecturer, nursing auxiliary and community interpreter. She has written one book on Primo Levi and several articles on post-WWII Italian Jewish writers. With Susan Walker, she translated Renzo Modiano's Of Jewish Race (Vagabond Voices, 2013).

 
 
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Anna Paterson

Dr Anna Paterson translates from Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and German into English and writes literary journalism in English and Swedish. She used to work as a medical academic, specialising in experimental and clinical neuroscience. Since retiring, she has translated twenty-six books – a mixture of literary fiction and non-fiction – published mainly in the UK and the USA but also in Australia and Norway. She works for several English-language literary magazines. Between 2010 and 2015, she was reviews editor at Swedish Book Review. Most of Dr Paterson’s non-medical writing has been book reviews and articles on literary topics. She has also written a book about landscape, identity and environmental awareness in Scotland: Scotland’s Landscape: Endangered Icon. She is married to a Scot and lives in the Scottish countryside. Recent/forthcoming book translations include The Chosen Ones by Steve Sem-Sandberg (Faber & Faber, UK & Farrar, Straus and Giroux, USA; 2016/17); Palme and Markings of His Life, both by Henrik Berggren (Max Ström, Sweden/UK; both in 2017); The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm (Pushkin Press, UK, and Tin House, USA); The Tempest by Steve Sem-Sandberg (Faber & Faber, UK); and Prey. The exploitation of T.E. Lawrence by Bengt Abrahamsson (in preparation). Dr Paterson translated Stillness of the Sea for Vagabond Voices in 2011. 

 

Think in Translation

It's only natural that different languages produce different cultures: the words we use affect the way we think and the way we live. That's why reading books in translation opens your mind.

We've created Think in Translation to encourage people to read books in translation by making them more accessible – to remind readers that translated literature is available to everyone, and not reserved for specialised audiences. In seven podcast episodes and as many blog posts, we'll explore translation from various angles. Use #ThinkInTranslation on social media to join in the conversation.