The BookBlast® Podcast

Bridging the Divide: Translation and the Art of Empathy

Our latest BookBlast® podcast series champions independent presses leading the way in publishing translation, and includes a guest interview with Christopher MacLehose, the publisher behind Nordic Noir.

The podcast line-up features award-winning, bestselling authors from across Europe, including Lars Mytting, J.S. Margot, Tommy Wieringa and Tahar Ben Jelloun, as well as interviews with their publishers; Adam Freudenheim and Philip Gwyn Jones among them.

Bridging the Divide is hosted by editor and translator, Georgia de Chamberet, and journalist, Lucy Popescu.


Margot Vanderstraeten, author of featured title, Mazel Tov – “I loved working with BookBlast. It was professional, warm, open-minded, efficient. I also loved the mix offered.”
Jane Hedley-Prole, translator – “What a great initiative! I really appreciate your help in raising the profile of Mazel Tov, as well as for putting the spotlight on literary translation.”
Beka Adamashvili, author of featured title, Bestseller – “It was a wonderful experience. It was the first podcast in English for me, and also, questions made me think about the things/subjects which I’ve never thought of before. Everything went according to the plan and also, the environment during the interview was very friendly.”
Olivia Hellewell, translator of featured title, The Fig Tree, by Goran Vojnovic – “Very professional, well coordinated. An enjoyable and rewarding experience.”

Special thanks to all of our listeners, supporters, sponsors, featured publishers, writers, translators, and events team: sound editor, Rupert Such; BookBlast® Podcast theme-tune composer, Edward Campbell; Tech Director Ben Fiagbe; reviewer Henrietta Foster; interviewer Lucy Popescu; and social media intern, Rachel Goldblatt, for their commitment, expertise and enthusiasm.

The Programme

J.S. Margot, Flemish author of Mazel Tov (Pushkin Press)

discusses navigating clashing cultures with Georgia de Chamberet on 30 July, 5pm

followed by an interview with publisher, Adam Freudenheim

Book info

Robyn Marsack (translator) & Rose Rogerson (Eland Books)

discuss the late Swiss author, Nicolas Bouvier's So It Goes & his traveller's tales on 06 August, 5pm

Book info


Jamie Lee Searle (translator from the German) & Anne Meadows (Granta Books)

discuss Korean author, Anna Kim's The Great Homecoming and love, war & the riptide of history with Georgia de Chamberet on 13 August, 5pm

Book info


James Womack, translator of Spanish author Manuel Vilas' Heaven (Carcanet)

discusses love & death under the sun with Georgia de Chamberet on 20 August, 5pm

followed by an interview with publisher, Michael Schmidt

Book info

Lulu Norman (translator) & journalist Lucy Popescu

discuss the desert hell endured by Moroccan author Aziz BineBine, described in Tazmamart: 18 Years of Morocco’s Secret Prison (Haus) on 27 August, 5pm

Book info


Lars Mytting (author), Deborah Dawkin (translator) & Georgia de Chamberet

discuss The Bell in the Lake (MacLehose Press) & tradition vs. modernity on 03 September, 5pm

followed by an interview with publisher, Christopher MacLehose

Book info

Tahar Ben Jelloun, Moroccan author of On Terrorism: Conversations with my Daughter

discusses terror as a weapon with Georgia de Chamberet on 10 September, 5pm. Published by Small Axes

in French and English

Book info

Tommy Wieringa (Dutch author), Sam Garrett (translator) & Lucy Popescu

discuss The Blessed Rita (Scribe) and voices from the margins on 17 September, 5pm

followed by an interview with publisher, Philip Gwyn Jones

Book info

Natasha Lehrer (translator) & Lucy Popescu

discuss French author, Nathalie Léger’s The White Dress (Les Fugitives) and brides on tour on 24 September, 5pm

Book info


Goran Vojnovic (Slovenian author), Olivia Hellewell (translator) & Lucy Popescu

discuss The Fig Tree (Istros Books) and the experiences of families living between empires on 20 October, 5pm

Book info


Beka Adamashvili, Georgian author of Bestseller (Dedalus Books) & Tamara Japaridze (translator)

wrap up the series discussing with Georgia how well bestsellers travel and all things Georgian, on 05 November, 5pm

Book info



The BookBlast® Podcast Bridging the Divide series format copyright © BookBlast® Ltd, London. All rights reserved