Lyn Marven

Lyn Marven studied German at Oxford University where she went on to gain a doctorate and to teach for three years. Her research-related travels took her to various cities including Berlin and Manchester. Since 2007 she has taught at the University of Liverpool where she has focused on contemporary literature, especially authors from the former GDR and other Eastern Block countries, gender roles, and the body image in literature. Her current research project deals with the image of Berlin from a variety of viewpoints. In addition to her teaching activities she publishes her research and translates contemporary German literature into English.


Three questions to Lyn Marven

Why did you choose to become a translator? Is it the profession you always wanted?

I became a translator because I've been involved in German literature for years as a University Lecturer, and want to bring the interesting books I've studied to a wider English-speaking public. For me translation represents a different approach to literature – and also it's fun!
Which German book do you like the best and why?

My favorite German book is Irmtraud Morgner's Leben und Abenteuer der Trobadora Beatriz nach Zeugnisen ihrer Spielfrau Laura ('The Life and Adventures of Trobadora Beatrice as Chronicled by Her Minstrel Laura') (1974). I read it first when I was 20 and it completely won me over to German literature! Comical, imaginative, historical, literary, erotic, utopian, 'a bible for feminists' – the book has everything…
Is there a particular book you would like to translate?

Well, where should I start!? Trobadora Beatriz has already been translated (by Jeanette Clausen), but the other books by Morgner haven't yet been translated… otherwise my dream projects would be Annett Gröschner's Moskauer Eis (2000) and Ulrike Draesner's Mitgift (2002). I wish I could write like that!

Selection of translated titles

  • Larissa Boehning: Swallow Summer (Schwalbensommer). Comma Press, 2016
  • Helen Constantine: Berlin Tales. Oxford University Press, 2009
  • Maike Wetzel: Long Days (Lange Tage). Comma Press, 2008
  • Larissa Boehning: Something for Nothing (Zaungäste) in Decapolis (S. 101-118). Comma Press, 2006