Fiona Rintoul

© Fiona Rintoul
© Fiona Rintoul
Fiona Rintoul was born in Glasgow and studied German and French at the University of St Andrews. She has worked for a number of years as a financial journalist, first for a journal based in London, and then as a freelancer in Glasgow. In 2008 she did an MLitt in creative writing at the University of Glasgow and since then she has been writing fiction as well, publishing her first novel, The Leipzig Affair, in 2014. In the past, she translated financial and art texts from German into English, and in recent years she has also begun to translate fiction.

Selection of translated titles

  • Arnold Zweig: Outside Verdun (Erziehung vor Verdun). Freight Books, 2014
  • Gutter Magazine, Spring 2011. (Tranlations of the poems Gangart zwei: Richtung Schöhauser Allee von Johannes Jansen und Die Würfel sind gefallen von Gabriele Stötzer)

Three questions to Fiona Rintoul:

Why did you choose to become a translator? Is it the profession you always wanted?
During the last few years I have translated some German poetry. Then I had the chance to translate Zweig’s Erziehung vor Verdun. It was a difficult book to start with but also very satisfying, since the book was so great.

Which German book do you like the best and why?
My favourite German book from my time at university is Der Schimmelreiter by Theodor Storm. I can’t say exactly why. I really liked the atmosphere of this novel and the landscape Storm describes. Recently I very much enjoyed In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts by Eugen Ruge and Heimsuchung by Jenny Erpenbeck. Both these novels deal with the German past in different ways and both do it very successfully in my view.

Is there a particular book you would like to translate?
I would have liked to translate In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts, but that has already been done really well. As I loved Erziehung vor Verdun I would like to translate Junge Frau von 1914, which belongs to the same cycle of novels. But I would also love to translate a new novel by a contemporary author.

Related links

British Centre for Literary Translation

Britain’s leading centre for the development, promotion and support of literary translation.

Emerging Translators' Network

The Emerging Translators' Network is a forum and support network for early-career literary translators working primarily into English.

German Translators' Workshop

6.30pm, first Thursday of the month, Goethe-Institut, 50 Prince's Gate, London.

Opportunities for Translators

Click here to view a database of programmes, prizes, scholarships and residencies for translators of German.