How many people become friends with their translators? How many people even get to MEET their translators? I still can't believe my luck.
Words. They really mean something. They connect people across continents and oceans. There are so many things to say about the reading and school visit I got to do in Munich, but I am trying to keep it short and succinct. Sonja Finck translated The Smell of Other People's Houses into German for my publisher Konigskinder.
Sonja emailed me almost everyday for a month to ask me things like, "where exactly was Alyce standing on the boat when she and Sam were eavesdropping on her father?" She asked me questions that made me realize she was not just 'word for word' translating my book. She was capturing the tone, the emotion, and the heart of what I wrote. Sonja speaks Spanish, German, French and English. She is witty and smart and very fun. She lives in Berlin and Quebec. Here are some photos of our time in Munich, taken by Katrin Ruger and Frederike Wagner, owners of Buchpalast, who are so amazing they deserve a blog post of their own!
Before the reading we met just with the Buchpalast "Book Eaters" club. (By the way, Bucherfresser is a lot harder to say than you think, trust me) Ranging in age from 12-20 this group of teens asked Sonja and I the most intelligent, probing questions about both writing and translating. I've been home over a week and some of their questions are still swirling around in my brain. These teens read about 300 books a year and are currently the jury of the German youth literature prize. (Jugendliteraturpreises)