Anna Paterson has degrees in medicine and medical sciences from Lund (Sweden) and London. Until her retirement in 1999 she worked as a medical academic, specialising in experimental and clinical neuroscience. Apart from honorary medical teaching and research consultancies, Anna is now fully engaged in a second career as a writer and translator. She translates fiction and non-fiction into English from Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and German. In 2000 she was awarded the Bernard Shaw Prize for Literary Translation (from the Swedish). Additionally, she recently took on the role of reviews editor for the Swedish Book Review. Her own writing has focused on literary criticism, with emphasis on the relationship between literature and politics. Currently she is working on a book with the provisional title Romantics at heart? Nature and politics in northern Europe, and has recently translated a German novel, Meeresstille by NicolLjubić. She lives with her husband in Scotland.
Selection of translated titles:
- Nicol Ljubić: Stillness of the Sea (Meeresstille). Vagabond Voices, 2011
- In: Europe Writes (Europa Schreibt). Central European University Press, 2004
Mircea Cărtărescu: Europe in My Mind
Robert Schindel: We’re All Right
Three questions to Anna Paterson:
Why did you choose to become a translator? Is it the profession you always wanted?
My first two translation jobs came my way by chance – a lucky chance. I enjoyed it, almost as much as I’ve always enjoyed writing.
Which German book do you like the best and why?
Clever, learned non-fiction, like David Kehlman’s Die Vermessung der Welt.
Is there a particular book you would like to translate?
September. Fata Morgana by Thomas Lehr. I like documentary fiction, especially when the emphasis is on the fictional elements. Or, maybe, Lob by Daniel Kehlman; he writes about an interesting selection of writers.