The smaller rooms meant a near-full house for my translation panel with Robert Pépin, Steven T. Murray, Tiina Nunnally and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. I was especially pleased that the panelists asked questions of one another, which meant good give and take. Nunnally told the too-many-cooks-spoil-the-stew story that led to her removing her name from the British translation of Smilla's Sense of Snow. In this case, one of the cooks was the author.
Robert Pépin had little patience with the suggestion that translation is an art, though his description of his own practice sounded suspiciously like art to me. He was also a bit of a jambon, a lively presence who was the first of the group to comment on another panelist's reply. Happily, the rest followed suit, and we had a real discussion going that ended far too soon. Fifty-five minutes for four intelligent panelists, me, and a roomful of questions? I ask you!
Nunnally's translations include works by Karin Fossum, Mari Jungstedt Hans Christian Andersen, Knut Hamsun, Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking), and quite a few more. She has also written two mysteries whose protagonist is a translator. I hope to have more to report about the books soon.
© Peter Rozovsky 2009