Anthea Bell is a translator who has won many top awards, and whose work has appeared on many bestseller list, yet many outside of the publishing industry don’t know her name. Most recognizable in the U.S. for her translations of Cornelia Funke’s novels, she recently translated the German book Ruby Red, the first in a time-travel trilogy by Kerstin Gier. Bell spoke with Bookshelf by phone from her home in England.
What are you working on now?
I am translating a trilogy by fantasy writer Kai Meyer for HarperCollins, and I’m immersed in Kerstin Gier at the moment and enjoying the final volume in her trilogy.
You’re much further ahead than the rest of the English-reading world with what’s happening in that story!
Oh, yes! The second book [Sapphire Blue] went through the copyediting process quite recently, so they’ve read it in the editorial office. The editor will be making a few tweaks in that, and then in due course I’ll get the proof stage. I’m finishing off the translation of the third in the trilogy, which brings everything to a very satisfying conclusion.
Was there anything in particular that struck you as interesting about translating this series?
Yes, it’s the fun of catching the comedy of it. And there’s some very nice characters coming along in the second book. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say there is a gargoyle who has fine arguments with James the Ghost, the ghost who never believes he’s dead, poor chap!
Ruby Red is a fast-paced story with a bit of a cliffhanger ending. Do you let yourself become engrossed in the story as a reader?
I do! Kerstin is really a born storyteller, and I was at the edge of a cliff at the end of volume one, and even worse at the end of volume two! When volume three [Emerald Green] finally arrived at Christmas time I could hardly wait to get into it and see how it was all going to work out. Our friend Gwyneth has a lot of adventures and joys and sadness ahead of her.
What has it been like to be involved with Kerstin’s world for so long?
It’s been enormous fun! I’ve really enjoyed it. In some books you’re sorry when you get to the end, and when I get to the end of volume three I think I shall feel quite deprived of the company of those characters.
Das können wir nur zu gut nachvollziehen ^^ Ein sehr schönes Interview! Wer alles lesen möchte, der klickt auf... ALLES!