Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Clemens Meyer, All the Lights

The fine upstanding people of And Other Stories have announced it in their newsletter, so I don't have to keep it to myself any longer. I've been biting my tongue for weeks and weeks now, so here goes - I'm currently translating Clemens Meyer's second book for them, Die Nacht, die Lichter. It's a collection of excellent short stories that won the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair when it came out in 2008. I sincerely think it's some of the very best German writing around, and I'm not just saying that because Meyer took me to the races last summer.

Translating the stories is tricky but incredibly rewarding. At times I find myself gazing into space, marvelling at how good they are and how lucky I am to be working on them. But most of the time they suck me in and make me frown in concentration, suspending real life all around me. I have to stay at home to work on them rather than translating in my office where there are other people present, partly because the work is quite draining. And it actually helps sometimes if I have a slight hangover.

The book should be out in the autumn of this year. If you can't wait (and who can blame you), there are two stories published online, at The Guardian and Brooklyn Rail.

We're changing the title slightly, because the literal translation, ummm, rhymes. And while And Other Stories are pretty damn daring publishing translated short stories (not a terribly fashionable thing to do), even they don't want to go as far as launching a book on the British public with a rhyming title.


David said...

Great news, and congrats! I'm hoping that he is also discovered over here in the US. I read "Als wir traeumten" and was blown away. Any chance that will appear in English translation?

kjd said...

Thanks David. Sadly, nobody really wants to publish "Als wir träumten" - too long!


Lovely to meet you last week, well done on the translation, I am reading through them now. What magic.

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