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Spotlight on the art of translation


In addition to Tokarczuk, she began translating works by Polish writer Wioletta Greg and Argentine writers Romina Paula, Pedro Mairal and Federico Falco, who described Croft as “extremely sensitive to the most subtle variations in the speech of different characters. , to their feelings. , their moods, their silence.

Croft has a somewhat unconventional approach to translation. She begins by reading the book cover to cover, then goes back to the beginning and tries, as much as possible, to replicate the author’s writing process.

When she was working on Mairal’s novel “The Woman of Uruguay”, which is structured like a husband’s letter to his wife and which Mairal wrote quickly, Croft translated it as fast as she could for reproduce its frenetic pace and frenzied confessional prose.

“She managed to keep the tone intimate,” Mairal said in an email. “The translation makes it sound like someone is speaking to you, which is exactly what I wanted to do.”

Croft focuses on conveying tone, style, and meaning more than word-for-word accuracy. She described her process as “completely dismantling a book, then completely rebuilding it from scratch.”

When she’s not translating, Croft writes. She wrote an autobiographical novel in Spanish, titled “Serpientes y Escaleras”, about her coming of age and her budding love for the intricacies of language and translation. She hadn’t originally planned to publish it in English, but began translating chapters to share with her sister, whose illness is a recurring motif in the book. As she recast it, Croft found herself completely rewriting it as illustrated non-fiction, and the English version, “Homesick,” published by No Name Press in 2019, was released as form of memories.

Croft, who lives between Los Angeles and Tulsa, is currently working on a translation novel, titled “Tinder.” The story takes place in the virgin forests of Poland, where a group of translators have gathered to work together on the latest opus of a famous Polish novelist. The translators are stunned when the author undergoes an otherworldly transformation and disappears into the forest, leaving them alone to figure out what his new novel means.