A.S.Byatt, “Children’s Book”

I’m going to Netherlands in February, for A.S.Byatt “Children’s book” translators’ conference, yay!
ASB almost got the Booker’s prize for this book, but it did not happen (Hilary Mantel got it for “Wolf Hall”). But Leiden University is giving ASB a Honorary Doctor degree anyway, and we are all invited to the ceremony. We’ll probably make a trip to England (I will for sure) from Holland, to visit the V&A Museum in London, as most of the book’s plot is wrapped around the Museum. ASB promised to join us there as well!

Literary joys

I have completed translation of Terry Pratchett’s Nation (it is now being edited), and have started The Children’s Book by A.S.Byatt. It is huge – 600 pages, about the same size as Iris Murdoch’s The Philosopher’s Pupil which I have translated last year. The Children’s Book was shortlisted for Booker prize. Translators from half a dozen countries are working on it right now, and I have been included into a mailing list for The Children’s Book translators worldwide, with participation of A.S.Byatt herself. By the way, this Wikipedia article says that A.S.Byatt was actually influenced by Murdoch, and that the novelist Margaret Drabble is her sister, which  I did not know before. I read something by Drabble and I thought she writes, in fact, very much like Murdoch, but more… drab. The pun is intended. In my opinion, The Children’s Book is not like anything by Murdoch at all, at least I very much hope so. I will not survive another 600 pages of dark and depressive stuff like The Philosopher’s Pupil. The Children’s Book story is not all roses either, but at least it’s less… existential? and more lifelike. The work on it will be pure joy, anyway. Life is good.