This is the German edition of His Other House which will be published by Diana Verlag (Random House) in two weeks. (This is a reader's copy, or so I figure when I put the words in the pink spot through Google translate.) Nachts Schwimmen means Night Swimming, which refers to two of the characters swimming illicitly in the local pool at night (one of the lesser transgressions in the novel).
It’s difficult for me to imagine any kind of swimming at the moment. Even in subtropical Mullumbimby it’s really chilly; right now I am sitting by the wood heater wearing ugg boots. In Germany, of course, it’s summer (apparently it's 35 degrees centigrade in Munich today) and I reckon the lovely watery cover of my book might be enticing indeed when it hits the bookshops in less than two weeks.
I’ve found myself thinking about the whole translation process and how the translator effectively becomes a co-author. Nachts Schwimmen's translator was Ute Brammertz (who lives in England). We had an email exchange about a couple of points (eg how to translate Lot 1, meaning a block of land, and we decided it wasn’t really possible to translate in the context, and she found a way around it). Ute explained that translating is a balancing act between making a text sound right in German and staying as true to the original as possible. She says it’s inevitably a question of approximation and a certain degree of interpretation.
I will never know what degree of approximation or interpretation as I don’t read German!