Why did you choose to become a translator? Is it the profession you always wanted to have?
To be honest, I still see myself first and foremost as a professional historian. The decision to translate Wall Flower arose out of particular circumstances: as a teacher, I bemoaned the lack of good first-person narratives to assign to students that treated life in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. At one point, I remember having come across and enjoying Rita Kuczynski’s Mauerblume. On re-reading the memoir, I realised that this was something I could translate successfully. Fortunately, Rita was also interested in having the work appear in an English translation.
What German book do you like the best and why?
I don't really have a favourite German book, although I read quite a bit of German fiction and non-fiction.
Is there a particular book you would like to translate?
At this juncture, no, at least not into English. Since I am now teaching in a francophone context I am often frustrated by the absence of French translations of literary and even certain historical texts. Alas, my command of French is not yet at the level where I would dare to think about translating from German into French.