On 4 June 2015, eight literary translators from across Europe came together for European Literature Night VII: The Translation Pitch, a translation showdown like no other. The challenge? To pitch a book as yet unpublished in English to a panel of publishing professionals: Max Porter (senior editor, Granta Books), Kerry Glencorse (literary agent, Susanna Lea Associates) and Stefan Tobler (publisher, And Other Stories). The prize? A PEN Samples grant, worth £250.
Hosted by Chris Gribble, director of Writers’ Centre Norwich, the translators took the audience and jury on a literary journey across Europe. Snapshots of life and literature on the continent included a Dutch filmmaker in provincial Spain post-economic downturn, a yuppie’s attempts at off-the-grid living in Belgium, a pair of murderous Danish school boys revealing their inner psyches and a failing writer narrating his own decline in post-Communist Bulgaria.
Listen to audio from the event here.
The translators were: Owen Good, pitching Krisztina Tóth’s ‘Pixel’ (Hungary); Anne Posten, pitching Verena Rossbacher’s ‘Small Talk and Slaughter’ (Germany); Lindy Falk van Rooyen, pitching Jesper Wung-Sung’s ‘Proper Fractions’ (Denmark); Anna Asbury, pitching Jan van Loy’s ‘Scraps’ (Flanders); Angela Rodel, pitching Vladimir Zarev’s ‘Ruin’ (Bulgaria); Laura Vroomen, pitching Vonne van der Meer’s ‘Take 7’ (Netherlands); Andrea Reece, pitching Pierre Autin-Grenier’s ‘That’s Just How It Is’ (France); Melvyn Clarke, pitching Jan Němec’s ‘A History of Light’ (Czech Republic).