Translator of fiction, biography and history from Swedish, Norwegian and German
BA German & Swedish, London (UCL 1970). Taught Swedish and German at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth 1972-75. Head of Scandinavian and latterly Germanic collections at the British Library, London, 1975-96. Now a freelance translator.
He has translated 25 novels and biographies from Swedish, Norwegian or German, has published reviews, chapters and a short monograph on Swedish literature, and bibliographies relating to Swedish and Scandinavian studies. He has served as a reader for several publishing houses and submitted reports on some 100 books. He was the Honorary Secretary of the Swedish-English Literary Translators Association 1982-2006, its chair 1987-91, and is on the editorial board of Swedish Book Review.
In 1991 he was awarded the inaugural Bernard Shaw Translation Prize for his translation of The Way of a Serpent by Torgny Lindgren, and in 1992 he received the Royal Order of the Polar Star from Sweden for his services to Swedish literature; he was promoted to Commander in the same Order in 2006. His translations of Torgny Lindgren's Light and Lars Gustafsson's A Tiler's Afternoon were both runners-up for the Bernard Shaw Prize in 1994, and his translation of Torgny Lindgren's In Praise of Truth was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Award in 1994. He was awarded the Swedish Academy Translation Prize in 2002. Recent translations include Stieg (biography of Stieg Larsson), A History of Finland, and Per Wästberg's novel The Journey of Anders Sparrman.