Sometimes it feels as if I’m not merely translating people’s stories into English, but helping people preserve their own lives, turning them into internationally comprehendible keepsakes. For every two books of pure fiction that I translate, there is a third that is not exactly a memoir, not exactly a
I translate something almost every day. Five or six days a week, you can find me in the process of drafting, editing, or proofreading a translation, clicking back and forth between the original and my translation, comparing and contrasting.
It isn’t only Israeli politics and government agenda that hang on the narratives of the Bible—the Hebrew language is profoundly steeped in biblical passages, references, and turns of phrase.
When I was translating Some Day, by Shemi Zarhin, my first published translation which came out with New Vessel Press in 2013, the question of footnotes was constantly on my mind. There was so much to that book, set in Israel, that an English reader wouldn’t know about.
I spent a large part of last spring working in coffee shops all around the Finger Lakes region with a group of writers. One of them had published several novels; another had just signed with an agent and was making revisions to her novel-in-progress; the others were working on
In late February I finished up the translation of a novel. In mid-March my son was born. Caring for a baby is not all too different than dealing with a challenging translation, though granted the hours are less convenient and the boss often poses unreasonable demands. In both cases
As a reader, is there anything better than finding a book that resonates with you so intensely that you feel that you know the author, share a mind (or a heart) with them, that their words were written for you? As a translator, I can think of something even
As children, we’re both fascinated with the idea of the great big world around us, and consumed with the notion that we are at its center. I recall sleepless nights, hearing my father return home late from work, and tiptoeing past my sleeping sister’s bed to the living room
When my mother, born in America to Israeli parents, first met my father in Tel Aviv, she said she knew he was right for her because he was an American living in Israel. As a young woman who grew up in transit—constantly being moved around between the two countries—she