My Mum might be a Gorilla…

It’s easy to despair of the lack of translated books, sometimes. There’s the xenophobia, and I suppose lack of money for publishers. Maybe. But for every iffy homegrown book, there might be a tremendously good foreign book, just waiting to be translated.

Frida Nilsson, Apstjärnan

SELTA, the Swedish-English Literary Translators’ Association, have a blog, and recently Fiona Graham, one of their members, published her sample translation of a chapter from Frida Nilsson’s Apstjärnan, under the title My Mum’s a Gorilla – So What? and I have to say I love the title, and I really enjoyed reading it. Yes, I know I could read the whole book in the original, but I didn’t know about it until I read the SELTA blog.

What could beat a gorilla teaching a small girl how to drive? Ridiculous, funny, entertaining. I can’t drive. Should I get a gorilla to help?

Occasionally I email publishers and suggest foreign books they might look at. I think it’s a losing battle, but every now and then I feel strongly enough to do it anyway.

4 responses to “My Mum might be a Gorilla…

  1. Oooh love that title. I wonder if there are other translation blogs that do this!

  2. I suppose what you need is someone passionate about some particular book, and the skills to provide a sample.
    Son often gets jobs to translate a little bit of a book for publishers or authors, but that’s different.

  3. Pingback: What was I thinking??? | Bookwitch

  4. Gosh, I’ve only just seen this! Sadly, I haven’t found an English publisher for this lovely book. However, a couple of Frida Nilsson’s other children’s books have been published in English translation in New Zealand. I think she’s a splendid writer and I absolutely love ‘Apstjärnan’.

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