Born in Derry in 1961, but resident in Scotland since 1970, Donal McLaughlin is a freelance writer and translator (from German, mainly).
Scottish PEN’s first écrivain sans frontières, a recipient of the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award and a former Hawthornden Fellow, Donal has also represented the City of Glasgow in both Berne (Scottish Writing Fellow) and Nuremberg (Hermann Kesten Fellow).
Known for his short stories, a number of which have already appeared in translation, Donal published his first collection – an allergic reaction to national anthems & other stories – in September 2009. It was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award in 2010, and also nominated for the inaugural Readers’ Best First Book Award of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. A second collection is forthcoming (2014). Donal has also completed a first novel.
His translation work includes: collaborating with Chris Dolan on a stage version of Bernhard Schlink‘s The Reader; Shards, a bilingual edition of the poetry of Stella Rotenberg (with Stephen Richardson); and over 100 writers for the New Swiss Writing anthologies (2008 – 2011). He is the English voice of Urs Widmer (six books, to date). He has also translated the German-Iraqi novelist, Abbas Khider (The Village Indian, due 2013), and Swiss writers, Arno Camenisch, Monica Cantieni, Pedro Lenz and Christoph Simon (Zbinden’s Progress). In 2013, he was shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award in the United States for his translation of Urs Widmer‘s My Father’s Book (Seagull).
naw much of a talker by Pedro Lenz (Freight Books, 2013) will be Donal’s first book-length dialect translation (see cover below).
Donal has also edited selections of contemporary writing from Slovenia (with Janice Galloway), Latvia and Scotland.
He featured both as a writer and as a translator in Best European Fiction 2012 (Dalkey Archive, USA).