news | Monday September 27, 2010

Translator to the Stars


Translators are often the unsung workers of the publishing world, even the best of them.

In the case of Sheila Fischman, through her translation work, she has brought to life characters we love in more than a hundred novels by such Quebec writers as Michel Tremblay, Jacques Poulin, Anne Hébert, François Gravel, Marie-Claire Blais and Roch Carrier.

“If I have a voice of my own, it absolutely must not appear,” points out Sheila Fischman.

Recently, Dominique Fortier’s novel Du bon usage des étoiles about Lord John Franklin’s doomed attempt to discover the Northwest Passage has been praised for its sardonic humour and departure from standard narrative forms. In turn, the author has much to say about Sheila Fischman‘s translation of her book On the Proper Use of Stars.

“It feels so natural to hear those characters speaking English because that was their language in real life. Sheila Fischman is the most talented translator in the world, or at least Canada. She did such a wonderful job. I’m very, very proud of the English version, even if I didn’t have that much to do with it.”

In addition to the many works of Michel Tremblay, the many translations of Sheila Fischman with Talonbooks include two works by the “other Tremblay”, Talking Bodies and The Bicycle Eater by Larry Tremblay.

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