Monday, 24 July 2017


Again on the Red Hand Books site - Red Hand's founder Richard Eccles talks about his new edition of W.W. Worster's 1921 translation of Knut Hamsun's Pan:
It was the first translation of this novel in to English and is in many ways still the most striking. Like Hamsun in Norwegian, Worster writes in a way that is old-fashioned, from a bygone age, in English. I wanted to celebrate those turns of phrase, the spelling conventions, the simplicity of his achievement for a new audience. For me personally, I remember reading the novel late into the night for the first time – the Norwegian original – and being by turns delighted, baffled, intrigued, astounded and utterly enamoured by this visionary writer and his poetic, ‘Danishified’, sparkling and obscure language. So, on a personal level, it feels such a culmination of a long-held dream to contribute to a new edition.

The Return of the Divine Mary

Also from Red Hand: my translation of Bjarni Bjarnason's novel Endurkoma MaríuFrom the publicity:
‘The Return of the Divine Mary is a wonderfully eccentric, enchanting read. Traces of William Blake mingle with undertones of Bulgakov, Eco and Kafka to create a fast-paced, unpredictable drama constructed on an intriguing premise: What would the Virgin Mary be like as a young woman in modern society, and how would her contemporaries receive her?’

The Reputation

My translation of Icelandic author Bjarni Bjarnason's novel Mannorð is now available from Red Hand Books. Red Hand are a new player on the translation scene, and their website presents an interesting diversity of titles and content.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Ruskeat Tytöt

In the new Press Freedom Blog of The Finnish Foundation for Media and Development (Viestintä ja Kehitys-säätiö - Vikes for short), the editor, author and campaigner Koko Hubara writes and talks about her experience with social media, in particular her Ruskeat Tytöt (Brown Girls) blog:
Within a couple of weeks the Ruskeat Tytöt blog had attracted plenty of attention. It was picked up by other media and started to be cited in the major newspapers and magazines in Finland, both in good and bad tones.
Ruskeat Tytöt won various blog awards and received a lot of praise, but at the same time every other reader and/or (white) cultural correspondent, writer, theatre person, and artist had an opinion on how I should talk about racism and what should be considered “inoffensive”. For instance, when people at work touched my hair without asking and compared it to animal fur – that was simply friendly curiosity about difference, which I should understand and allow.
Of course I also got, and get, anonymous and signed hate mail and people hoping I would be raped or killed. There are still a lot of readers who are in the business of publicly belittling our experience and who change the subject when we raise the problems we face.
But for the most part the debate has been positive since the start, with an enthusiasm to learn and listen, and it has involved racialised people themselves as well as their white nearest and dearest whom the discussions undoubtedly address.