We spoke to recent New Books in German intern, Maxine, about her experiences of the internship.
What is your professional background?
Having studied German and History, my professional background is a mixture of the two and my translations so far reflect that. As part of a group led by Paul Richards, I translated museum interpretation for the Haus der Geschichte Österreich, and in 2020 I began independently translating the permanent exhibition of the Sankt Pauli Museum before the museum sadly closed due to the pandemic. I was inspired to pursue translation by Ruth Martin, who couldn’t have been more encouraging while I was at university.
How did you first hear about New Books in German?
In 2017 I did a mini-mentorship with Ruth, and as part of that we went to the London Book Fair, where I first discovered New Books in German.
What have you enjoyed most about your internship with New Books in German?
For me, the highlight of the internship was the reader’s report. Getting to read a book that wasn’t yet on the market was really special, and the book will be on my list of favourites for a long time to come. The challenge then was to remain fair while also trying to sell it to the Jury.
What have you learned during the internship?
Just how much goes on behind the scenes! We are a small project, but a lot goes into making sure every book gets a fair hearing. In the last round, we had over 100 books submitted, so we put in an extra jury meeting to help whittle down the selection.
Do you have a favourite from the books the jury selected and why?
Having studied the History of Science throughout my time at University, I am interested to read Tobias Hürter’s The Age of Uncertainty: How Physics Changed the Way We See the World (1895 – 1945). It sounds like Hürter humanises the scientists with stories from their lives and the societies they lived in, making them more than their experiments and discoveries.
Who are your favourite German-language authors?
There are so many titles on my ‘to read’ list and so many talented authors out there still to be discovered that I really don’t have an answer to this question!
Which book would you most like to translate?
I would really like to translate Solsbüll, by Jochen Missfeldt. I love the history, the humour and all the local details that are woven into this multigenerational story. I’m just not sure I could do the book justice!
Thanks Maxine for all you brought to the team, It was great to work with you and we wish you all the best!
Read interviews with other former interns about their time with us.
Read more about what is involved in an internship.
Browse books recommended by the New Books in German jury
Funding for authors from Germany
Costs of translation into English are supported by our partner the Goethe-Institut.
Funding for authors from Austria
Costs of translation into English are supported by our partner the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport.
Funding for authors from Switzerland
Costs of translation into English are supported by our partner the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.