Encounters: Writers and Translators in Conversation – Ursula Knoll and Ruth Martin

Speakers: Ursula Knoll (writer); Ruth Martin (translator). Moderation: Andrea Capovilla (Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature & Culture, ILCS, University of London)

Ursula Knoll’s debut novel Lektionen in dunkler Materie [Lessons in Dark Matter] intertwines the lives of a group of women, who are at points in their lives where societal and individual pressures lead them to various decisive actions. As we follow the increasingly linked fates of the characters, this feminist and witty take on the group novel touches on the dilemmas and destructive forces in the ways we live now. Ursula Knoll is joined by Ruth Martin, who has translated excerpts from the novel especially for this discussion. 

Ursula Knoll studied German Literature, Jewish Studies and Gender Studies in Vienna. She held a Raul Hilberg Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, where she worked on her doctorate on Nazi Perpetrators in Literature, and subsequently trained as a dramatist at the Wiener Burgtheater and the wiener wortstaetten. She has written plays, short stories and essays. Lektionen in dunkler Materie is her first novel.

Ruth Martin studied English and European Literature before gaining a PhD in German. She has been translating fiction and non-fiction books since 2010, by authors ranging from Joseph Roth and Hannah Arendt to Volker Weidermann and Shida Bazyar. Ruth has taught translation at the University of Kent and the Bristol Translates summer school. Her co-translation (with Charlotte Collins) of Nino Haratischwili's The Eighth Life won the 2020 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.

Lessons in Dark Matter Sample Translation © Ruth Martin

Event date: Thursday, 7 March 2024