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Maria Andersson: 'My stay in Antwerp brought me inspiration for future projects.'

Maria Andersson translates from Dutch, English, Norwegian and German into Swedish. She specializes in children’s and youth literature. In June, she stayed in the Translator’s House in Antwerp to work on her latest project. She very much enjoyed the unique working location and the chance to get to know the city.

'I spent the month of June in the Translators’ House in Antwerp, working on the children’s book series ‘Jamil & Jamila’ by Elsbeth de Jager and Esther van der Ham. The series consists of three volumes. It’s about a boy and a girl living in a Syrian refugee camp. The storyline is based on real stories from children in refugee camps about their own experiences and about life in such a camp. The book series is published, as a non-profit project, by Droomvallei Uitgeverij, and for each copy sold in Europe in the different languages, the publisher gives one copy away, for free, to children in a refugee camp. The Arabic version is used at schools in camps. Together with a colleague I translate the books from Dutch into Swedish.

I really enjoyed my stay at the Translators’ House, and I loved Antwerp as well. From going to the bakery on the corner in the morning, buying freshly baked bread (and often delicious pastries for the coffee break), to translating away at the desk by the window, now and then making use of the library in the living room, and after work discovering a new part of Antwerp, on foot or by bike. I also used my time there to get to know more about Flemish children’s and youth literature, finding inspiration for future projects.’