5 minute interview with Marta Dziurosz

16 Dec 2015 10:00

  • 5 minutes with Marta Dziurosz

    Marta Dziurosz is an English-Polish-English literary translator who is currently the Translator in Residence at Free Word.


  • What has been your most successful piece of business, or contact made, at LBF?

    On the first day of the first Fair I went to, I was told about the Emerging Translators’ Network. I joined immediately and never looked back – if you feel translation is a lonely job, join ETN and you’ll find a few hundred people ready to advise you, moan with you and cheer you on.

    What piece of advice would you give first-timers at the Fair?

    Take water, a notebook, business cards, mints, a snack and some lip balm, and don’t be afraid to talk to people – we’re all here for very similar reasons.

    Which imprints do you most admire – and why?

    Picador are doing very well at blending poetry, literature in translation and readable literary fiction. Plus their covers are frequently gorgeous. As far as publishers go, I am a big fan of Virago and Persephone – the latter create objects of beauty of almost-forgotten fiction by women – as well as And Other Stories and Tilted Axis, who are both fearless about putting out small books with a lot of heft, and from around the world, too.

    What’s next on your reading list?

    Olga Tokarczuk’s monumental historical novel Księgi Jakubowe (The Books of Jacob) and Elvira Dones’ Sworn Virgin. I’m also waiting for the next Ben Aaronovitch novel from the Rivers of London series.

    Tell us what you/your company does in 20 words or fewer?

    Free Word Centre in London explores translation, climate change and freedom of speech through literature and art.

    What are you watching right now on TV?

    Since Hannibal’s finished, I’ve watched House of Cards and am still reeling, so will dive right into Jessica Jones during Christmas to distract myself.

    Which writer would you have loved to have met – and why?

    Bruno Schulz – although maybe not meet, rather just observe from a reverent distance. He produced such overflowing, baroque texts as The Street of Crocodiles and Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass, all the while teaching drawing at a provincial Polish school. It would be fascinating to observe a life that was so cramped by reality, yet so intense and rich from a creative point of view.

    Which is your favourite bookshop or ebookstore – and why?

    Review Bookshop in Peckham and the Muswell Hill Bookshop are great for browsing and discovering new things, Hatchards in St Pancras is fantastic for last-minute, pre-travel gifts.

    How does social media aid the Publishing industry?

    It cuts down distance and encourages direct contact.

    What would be the title of your autobiography?

    How to Have Your Cake and Eat It.

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