Damion Searls grew up in New York City, studied German philosophy at Harvard and American literature at the University of California at Berkeley.
He has translated many European writers, including Proust, Rilke, Robert Walser, Ingeborg Bachmann, Jon Fosse, and Nescio. He also edited a new abridged edition of Thoreau's Journal; and produced a lost work of Melville's.
Searls has received writing and translating awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN America, the Netherland America Foundation, the University of California, and the Austrian, Belgian, and Dutch governments. In 2012 he was awarded the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of Comedy in a Minor Key by Hans Keilson. He lives with his wife and son in San Francisco.