Literary Translation

I translate contemporary fiction, non-fiction and poetry from German and Dutch into English. My translations have been published by Melville House, Strangers Press, Literary Hub and more, and have been read at the Crossing Border Festival and the Writers Unlimited Winternachten Festival in The Hague, the Berlin Poetry Festival and the International Book Festival in Budapest. I have a special interest in creative non-fiction, exile literature, poetry, and queer and multicultural voices.

In addition to book translations, I regularly translate samples and excerpts. I also write reader’s reports on works published in German and Dutch for English-language publishers, evaluating these titles for their suitability for translation and their viability for commercial publication.

Books

The Dandy

Nina Polak

Strangers Press, 2020
The Dandy is a collection of astute, wryly funny stories about modern relationships, queer love and non-monogamy. From ‘What Do You Want to Know?’, in which an older woman struggles with her grown daughter’s refusal to acknowledge her mother being in a lesbian relationship, to the title story, which chronicles the rise and fall of a fictional feminist literary magazine, these stories brilliantly explore sexual fluidity and unconventional ways of living and loving.
Ghosts of Berlin by Rudolph Herzog

Ghosts of Berlin

Rudolph Herzog

Melville House, 2019

“A shrewd and provocative collection of fiction, Ghosts of Berlin is translated into English by the equally sharp Emma Rault.” — Shelf Awareness

“Celebrated filmmaker and author, Rudolph Herzog—yes, the son of Werner Herzog—has written a collection of ghost stories set in Berlin, as told by the Millennials who now live there. Linking all the stories is the globalized character of Berlin and the lingering effects of the war on both the city and its people (…) Herzog’s stories are utterly atmospheric, engrossing, refreshing, and devoid of pretense.” — Literary Hub

“Sharp satire, and a worthy addition to the growing canon of Berlin ghost-lit.” — Booklist

Short Prose

Staying Isolde

Nina Polak

Asymptote, October 2020

‘The lobster is the martyr of our ethical primitivism,’ he tells me as he carefully scrubs mushrooms for his famous Quiche Borraine, ‘both our inability to empathise with other life forms and our stubborn tendency towards infidelity.’ I’m not sure if he knows that he’s really talking about my stubborn tendency towards infidelity (which, technically speaking, isn’t infidelity: we have clear agreements on the subject).

No Petting

Nina Polak

Hinterland Magazine, 24 August 2020

‘Never fall in love with a taken man,’ that German teacher slurred into my ear at a school dance (her lips black from the red wine, her eyes tired). I took her inappropriate advice to heart: I fell in love with a taken woman. A tigress, who prides herself on the fact that she is both wild and chained. Insufferable. Irresistible. A force of nature.

Ball Lightning

Rudolph Herzog

Literary Hub, October 2019

“Why are you drinking so much?” the daughter wants to know.
“Because the ghosts are back.”
“There are no ghosts.”
“Then call it the past.”

Blog posts

from Simone Atangana Bekono’s residency at the Crossing Border Festival in The Hague

The Chronicles, October 2019

In the restaurant where we went on to have dinner, I counted the opportunities for escape: via the patio out back and then over the low wall, or I could excuse myself to go to the restroom and slip out through the entrance. Nothing gives you peace of mind like having an escape plan.

Apostle of Jack, Arthur, John and Paul

Auke Hulst

Asymptote, January 2018

Many people meditate to attain a certain contemplative, emotional, or even transcendental state, but I’m too restless for that. I can think more clearly (feel more clearly?) if I’m doing something. I think with my hands—writing—and I think with my legs: traveling.

Visiting the Snow Queen

Sophie Strohmeier

Queen Mob's Tea House (part of their Queer Translation feature), October 2016

The heavy conference table with the leather chairs, the desk with the curved claw feet, the green desk lamp, the curtain, the bronze sculpture of a dancing woman. All this was hers. Every day she looked at all of these things, even if only in passing; she touched them often. All these lifeless things spoke to her each day and were brought to life by her presence, and now they spoke to me of her.

Poetry

FORTHCOMING: 2 poems by Tom Van de Voorde

ANMLY, spring 2021

2 poems by Tom Van de Voorde

Action Books blog, May 2020

3 poems by Vicky Francken

Poetry International, May 2020

3 poems by Asha Karami

commissioned by the Winternachten International Literature Festival in The Hague, January 2020

7 poems by Tom Van de Voorde

commissioned for Lyrikline Late Night at poesiefestival berlin, June 2019

4 poems by Hilde Domin

New Books in German, April 2018

Samples

Around Four Weeks

Laura van der Haar

Podium, 2020

The Noble Autist

Romana Vrede

De Arbeiderspers, 2020

The Raccoon

Aleksandr Skorobogatov

De Geus, 2020

The Beast with the Strength of Ten Horses

Lida Dijkstra

Luitingh-Sijthoff, 2019

Flin, or the Lost Love of a Unicorn

Henry Lloyd

Querido, 2019

The Shape of Sound

Gregor Verwijmeren, Van Oorschot, 2019

Commissioned for the European First Novel Festival in Budapest, 23-26 April 2020

A Thousand Fathers

Nhung Dam, De Bezige Bij, 2017

Commissioned for the Deltaworkers residency in New Orleans, spring 2020

The Days of Bluegrass Love

Edward van de Vendel

Querido, 2015

Viktor

Judith Fanto

Ambo|Anthos, 2020

The Ting

Artur Dziuk

dtv, 2019

Salt

Marc Reugebrink

Querido, 2019

The Pineapple

Lex Boon

Meulenhoff, 2019

Being Inconspicuous

Dirk Brauns

Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2019

Our Father

Angela Lehner

Hanser, 2019

The Confession

Marianne Philips

Cossee, 2019

The Fall

Matthias M.R. Declercq, Manteau

2017

Workshops and Residencies

New Dutch Writing

Poetry translation workshop led by David Colmer

July 2020

Translation Factory

Translation workshop at the Translators’ House Amsterdam with David Colmer and Laura Watkinson

November 2020

The Chronicles

Translation residency at the 2020 Crossing Border Festival in The Hague, the Netherlands

October 2019

Translate at City

Literary translation summer school for German–English translation with Shaun Whiteside

June 2017

Workshop for emerging Dutch–English translators

at the Translators’ House Amsterdam with David Colmer

March 2017

Literaire Vertaaldagen

Dutch–English literary translation workshop at the 2016 Literaire Vertaaldagen (“Literary Translation Days”) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with Diane Webb

December 2016

Get in touch