Author of the Month: Anthea Bell

Our Author of the Month for August is one of that too-often neglected profession for which we recalcitrantly monoglot Britons have every reason to be grateful – a translator.

Anthea Bell was in fact impressively polyglot, and in her long and distinguished career translated literary works in all genres from French, German and Danish – she herself was uncertain about the number of books she had translated, but even the most conservative estimates put it in the hundreds. Her recreation in English of the untranslatable puns in the Asterix comics is nothing short of miraculous, her impersonation of the inimitable W.G. Sebald no less so, and her versions of Kafka are unsurpassed.

Have a look at some of the books she worked on here, and come and meet them in person in Bury Place throughout August.

Asterix The Gaul

Rene Goscinny, illustrated by Albert Uderzo, translated by Anthea Bell

From the publisher:

The first album chronicling the much-loved adventures of Asterix and friends.

Austerlitz

W. G. Sebald, translated by Anthea Bell, introduction by James Wood

From the publisher:

In 1939, five-year-old Jacques Austerlitz is sent to England on a Kindertransport and placed with foster parents. This childless couple promptly erase from the boy all ...

The Castle

Franz Kafka, translated by Anthea Bell, edited by Ritchie Robertson

From the publisher:

Kafka’s story about a man seeking acceptance and access to the mysterious castle is among the central works of modern literature. This translation follows the German ...

The World of Yesterday

Stefan Zweig, translated by Anthea Bell, designed by David Pearson

From the publisher:

Austrian writer Stefan Zweig’s final work, posted to his publisher the day before his tragic death, brings the destruction of a war-torn Europe vividly to rise.

All for Nothing

Walter Kempowski, translated by Anthea Bell

David recommends:

Kempowski's last, devastating novel is a stately, beautiful depiction of a world reduced to ruins. Unforgettable.

The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr

E. T. A. Hoffmann, introduction by Jeremy Adler, translated by Anthea Bell

Misha Donat writes:

When the celebrated violinist Joseph Joachim visited Schumann in the asylum at Endenich, near Bonn, in May 1855, he discovered that the composer – by this time in the ...

Asterix in Britain

Rene Goscinny, illustrated by Albert Uderzo, translated by Anthea Bell

From the publisher:

The eighth album chronicling the adventures of Asterix and friends.

The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Sigmund Freud, introduction by Paul Keegan, translated by Anthea Bell

From the publisher:

A brand new transaction of the “Psychopathology of Everyday Life” – one of 15 volumes in the new Freud series commissioned for the Penguin classics. This edition aims ...

Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman

Stefan Zweig, translated by Anthea Bell

From the publisher:

The less I felt in myself, the more strongly I was drawn to those places where the whirligig of life spins most rapidly. So begins an extraordinary day in the life of Mrs ...

Cecile is Dead

Georges Simenon, translated by Anthea Bell

From the publisher:

In the dreary suburbs of Paris, the merciless greed of a seemingly respectable woman is unearthed by her long suffering niece, and Maigret discovers the far-reaching ...

Augustus: The Biography

Jochen Bleicken, translated by Anthea Bell

From the publisher:

‘Masterful ... a breathtaking panorama of Roman politics at a crucial turning point in history’ Simon J. V. Malloch, Literary Review He was named son and heir by a ...

A Case of Hysteria: (Dora)

Sigmund Freud, translated by Anthea Bell

From the publisher:

A Case of Hysteria reveals how Freud dealt with patients and interpreted their statements. A crucial text in the development of his theories, it is famous for its literary ...

Beware of Pity

Stefan Zweig, translated by Anthea Bell, designed by David Pearson

From the publisher:

A new paperback edition of the only novel written by one of the most popular authors of the twentieth century, translated by the award-winning Anthea Bell.

The Late Monsieur Gallet

Georges Simenon, translated by Anthea Bell

From the publisher:

Instead of the detail filling itself in and becoming clearer, it seemed to escape him. The face of the man in the ill-fitting coat misted up so that it hardly looked human. ...