Simon Pare

Simon Pare © Simon Pare Simon Pare grew up in Shropshire and studied French and German at Cambridge University. After an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture, Simon worked in Fairtrade in Paris before becoming a literary translator in 2006. His published translations include Atlas of an Anxious Man by Christoph Ransmayr (Seagull Books, 2016), the bestselling The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (Abacus/Crown, 2015) and Richard von Schirach’s The Night of the Physicists (Haus Publishing, 2015).


Three questions to Simon Pare

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

I decided to become a translator after leaving my first career in Fairtrade for lack of any other ideas, really! No, that’s overegging it a bit: I’d really enjoyed the translation part of my first degree in languages, and desperately wanted to return to something text-based after ten years of travelling, meeting coffee and cotton producers and negotiating. It’s the perfect profession, one of the main perks being plenty of time to read.
Which German book do you like the best and why?

Tough one. I guess I have two answers to this question: Die Blechtrommel, simply because I think it was the first German novel I ever read, in Ralph Manheim’s translation, at the age of 15 or so; and Christoph Ransmayr’s Der fliegende Berg, firstly because it is a work of rare delicacy and beauty, and secondly because producing a sample for Fischer set the literary translation ball rolling for me.
Is there a particular book you would like to translate?

At the moment, anything by Katja Lange-Müller.

  • Nina George: The Little Paris Bookshop. Abacus/Crown, 2015
  • Richard von Schirach: The Night of the Physicists. Haus Publishing, 2015
  • Christoph Ransmayr: Atlas of an Anxious Man. Seagull Books, 2016
  • Bastian Obermayer & Frederik Obermaier: The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money