kiitos is in order. . .

June 25, 2009

Pardon a bit of navel-gazing, but I am tickled that Nemo, a Finnish publisher, wants to take a gamble on translating In the Wind for a Finnish audience. This is thanks to a Finnish reader somehow getting a copy of it, enjoying it, and bringing it to the publisher’s attention. Thanks to him, to Ann-Christine Danielsson, and to Nina Karjalainen, the publisher for taking a leap of faith. I’m extra happy because –

  • Finland rocks. Helsinki is a wonderful liveable city with neo-classical, art nouveau, and very modern architecture. They have a gorgeous public library in Tampere that amazed me many years ago because they served delicious ice cream. Back then, that would have been heresy in the US. Now we’re catching on to the idea that food and books do go together. They now have a Moomin museum in the basement. Moomins are another reason I love Finland.

  • The Finnish language is amazing. I love the way it looks and sounds. (That’s why I gave my main character a Finnish name; it sounded good. Shallow, I know.) I think it would difficult to learn, though. Here’s how Nemo presents one of their translated authors: “Marcia Muller on syntynyt Detroitissa Michiganissa vuonna 1944. Opiskeltuaan kirjallisuutta ja tiedotusoppia Muller muutti San Franciscoon. Hän työskenteli lehtimiehenä ja haastattelijana kirjoittaen yksityiskohtaisia kuvauksia ihmisistä ja heidän elinympäristöistään. Romaanihenkilönsä McConen tapaan Muller harrastaa lentämistä. Hän on kirjoittanut 27 rikosromaania ja toimittanut miehensä, rikoskirjailija Bill Pronzinin, kanssa rikosnovelliantologioita.” Isn’t that fabulous?
  • Finns read a lot. I told a friend, a professor of Scandinavian Studies, about this and he said, “that’s great! Finns read more than anyone.” Gotta love a country where reading is so popular.
  • Scandinavian crime fiction is the best in the world. The. Best. Just look at who’s up for the CWA International Dagger this year. I rest my case. So incredibly cool to be able to share a bit of shelf space with the best of the best.

Now, back to our usual ranting and raving . . .


gained in translation, but now lost

December 11, 2007

I was saddened to learn, via Sarah Weinman’s blog, that Bernard Scudder has died. Scudder was the excellent translator of Arnaldur Indridason’s work, among others. His work was always transparent, fluid, and accessible to both British and US audiences, while retaining a wholly Icelandic feel. What a loss.