After recently sorting through a pile of notebooks full of quotes, thoughts, and other musings quickly jotted down at countless literary festivals, translation events, book launches, interpreting courses, and creative writing classes, I realised it was perhaps time to start putting my thoughts into order in a more structured way. What better way to do that than use this blog section on my website!
Originally from Northern Ireland, I now live in Brussels, Belgium, a multilingual and multicultural paradise for a linguist like me. Home to more than 180 nationalities and 108 different languages, Brussels has more cultural and literary events than I could ever possibly keep up with. The multitude of bookshops, libraries, cultural centres, and other venues boast varied programmes that are a delight to attend – and often free. So, you’ll definitely see posts about some of these fantastic happenings.
Like many of you, I enjoy travelling, and it’s usually easy to get out of Brussels for short trips to the rest of Europe. (Let’s not mention 2020.) I’ve been known to plan weekends away to coincide with local book fairs and festivals, so if you aren’t a bookworm yourself, be warned if I suggest a city trip. If there isn’t a literary festival or book fair on that weekend, then I’ll definitely want to visit at least one bookshop, and will most definitely lose all track of time. I look forward to using this blog to as a literary travelogue of my travels across Europe and hopefully the world too.
As a translator and interpreter keen to keep up with all of my languages – French, German, Dutch and Italian - I always have several different books in different languages on the go at the same time. Literature has always opened up new worlds for me, connecting me with other cultures, histories, people and places in a way that film and TV cannot. I’m also grateful to the many translators who bring stories across cultures into English from languages I don’t know. I’ll also post from time to time about books I love, both books in translation and books I’d love to see in English translation. For what’s hot on the children’s books and Young Adult literature scene, you can check out my reviews, recommendations for translation, author interviews and posts about fairs and festivals at WorldKidLit.
And finally, I know I’ll benefit from taking time to reflect on what I learn from other fantastic colleagues at the wealth of literary translation, creative writing, and interpreting events. I hope you’ll enjoy those posts too.
I look forward to seeing where this journey takes me and can’t wait to connect with you too!