Welcome to the third episode of Wales Arts Review’s new podcast series with Sophie Baggott, exploring women’s literature from around the world. BookSHElf is a new series of interviews and reviews delving into the world of translation. In this episode, Sophie talks with writer Michelle Steinbeck and translator Jen Calleja about their new book, My Father Was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water (Darf Publishers).
Michelle Steinbeck, born in Lenzburg, Switzerland in 1990, writes prose, poetry and drama; reportage and columns. She works as editor-in-chief at FABRIKZEITUNG and is the organiser of Babelsprech, a forum for young international poetry. Her first novel, My Father Was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water, was shortlisted for the Swiss Book Prize 2016 and longlisted for the German Book Prize 2016.
Jen Calleja is a London-based writer and literary translator from German. She has translated literary fiction and non-fiction by Wim Wenders, Gregor Hens, Kerstin Hensel and Marion Poschmann, and her translations have featured in The New Yorker and Literary Hub. She was the inaugural Translator in Residence at the British Library in 2017-18. Jen’s debut poetry collection, Serious Justice, was shortlisted for the London Review of Books Bookshop’s best debut poetry collection of 2016 and the Melita Hume Poetry Prize.
Paradise Rot: A Novel by Jenny Hval, translated by Marjam Idriss (Verso Books)
A House in Norway by Vigdis Hjorth, translated by Charlotte Barslund (Norvik Press)
Music credit: Dee Yan Key