Writing

While living in Brazil between 2013 and 2018, I turned to journaling as a way of recording and making sense of my experiences. Over time, I began to incorporate fictional fragments and develop a regular creative writing practice. I am now part of two writers’ groups, both of which are a source of immense encouragement and inspiration. In spring 2022, I was alumna-in-residence at Writers Omi in upstate New York, where I began work on my first novel.

From 2010 to 2017, I wrote creative non-fiction pieces — on literature, travel and the art of translation — on my former blog, a selection of which can be found here.

Blog

  • Writers Omi

    2019
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    Around a year ago, for twelve blissful days, I went to translator heaven. Its official name is Art Omi, an arts organisation in New York’s Hudson Valley which offers residencies to writers, translators, musicians, artists, dancers and architects. Their annual Translation Lab programme, which is fully funded, offers four writer-translator pairings the opportunity to collaborate face-to-face on a project. I [...]

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  • A heady cocktail

    2014
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    The raw and captivating opening scene of Stephanie de Velasco’s debut novel, Tigermilk, sets the tone for this Berlin story, depicting the lives of two fourteen-year old girls who are teetering precariously, dramatically and prematurely on the threshold between childhood and adulthood. Jameelah and Nini are best friends, and the long, hot summer holidays have just begun. In the opening [...]

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  • languages and the way we see the world

    2014
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    The concepts of language and personal identity have been playing on my mind lately. The way the characteristics and quirks of our native languages and others we speak shape the way we see the world and appear to those around us. As is often the case when something’s playing on your mind, articles on that very subject seem to appear more frequently — including this one, in [...]

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  • New departures, or: going home

    2014
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    This morning when I woke up, the first thing I read was an article from the LRB, posted online by a friend and fellow translator. Written by James Wood, it’s entitled On Not Going Home, and is a fascinating exploration of home, exile, emigration, alienation, homesickness and much more. The following paragraph particularly resonated with me: ”When I left this [...]

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  • The freedom to look at clouds in a non-predatory way, or the joy of being a translator, by Boris Akunin

    2013
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    The annual Sebald Lecture is always just what the doctor ordered, guaranteed to lubricate the translation cogs and stave off thoughts of the February chill outside. This year was my my favourite so far (although if I had a time machine programmed to 2002, then I’m sure Susan Sontag’s would be a close contender). The 2012 Translation Prizes were announced [...]

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  • That’s what poems are for.

    2021
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    Last week, I took a few hours out to listen to German author Angela Krauβ speak about ‘life’s hidden poetry’ at Queen Mary University. After being writer in residence at the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations back in 2009, Krauβ agreed to return and lead an undergraduate seminar. I’m not sure the undergrads fully realised their luck at having an author, not [...]

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  • The road that led me to translation: An anti how-to guide.

    2012
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    When I started this blog just over a year ago, I intended one of my first posts to be about what led me to translation. I ended up getting sidetracked by other topics, but my mind was recently nudged back to the idea by a post I read on the Gallic Books site about the merits of studying literary translation [...]

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  • The worlds I never knew existed

    2011
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been to several thought-provoking translation events: Literary Translation Day at the Free Word Centre, a conference at the British Library entitled ‘Literary Translators: Creative, Cultural and Collecting Contexts’, and a talk by David Bellos at Foyles to launch his book Is That a Fish in your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything. [...]

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  • Unravelling the fibres of language

    2011
    • Blog
    • , Non-Fiction

    As part of my gleeful anticipation of attending the Literary Translation Summer School at UEA next week, I’ve been re-reading ‘Loosed in Translation’, the Sebald Lecture given by Ali Smith earlier this year. In it, she quotes the translator Merete Alfsen: ‘Translators ‘work’ the language in a way which is different from the way people generally use it…the language itself, [...]

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Selected Articles

  • The Emerging Translators Network

    BCLT’s In Other Words: Journal for Literary Translators Issue 39, 2012
    • Article
    • , Non-Fiction

    This is an adapted version of a short piece I wrote for BCLT/TA’s bi-annual publication In Other Words, a journal for literary translators. In October of last year, I mentioned in a blog post that Rosalind Harvey (Spanish-English translator and 2011 Free Word Centre translator in residence), Anna Holmwood (Chinese-English translator) and myself were planning to set up an online forum [...]

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  • The depiction of the GDR in British texts between 1973 and 1989

    eTransfers: Journal for Anglo-German Literary and Cultural Studies, 2011
    • Article
    • , Non-Fiction
  • The impact of New Books in German

    BCLT’s In Other Words: Journal for Literary Translators Issue 33, 2009
    • Article
    • , Non-Fiction