Q&A with Author and Translator Adré Marshall

03 Jun 2015
Adre Marshall

Adré Marshall studied English and French at the Universities of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Paris (Sorbonne) and Aix-en-Provence, and was awarded a Ph.D. in English Literature at UCT. She was a lecturer in the Department of English at the Universities of Stellenbosch, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, as well as in the Department of French at the University of Port Elizabeth. Now retired from university teaching, she tutors privately and is a freelance translator (French-English).

Adré is the author of The Turn of the Mind: Constituting Consciousness in Henry James (Associated University Presses, U.S.A., 1998) and has had numerous poems published in local journals. She has translated a variety of texts from French into English, including a satirical novella, a Reader’s Digest book on 101 Ways to Improve your Memory (2005), and an anthology of critical texts in Picasso in Africa, the catalogue produced for the Picasso exhibition in Cape Town, ed. Laurence Madeline and Marilyn Martin (2006). She is a member of the PEN South Africa board and the representative of PEN South Africa on the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee of PEN International, and has presented papers at this forum on several occasions.

Favourite South African novel?

Difficult to select a single novel from among the works of writers such as Gordimer and Coetzee but at present the novel that has left the deepest impression is Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat.

If you had to pick one book to give to all South Africans to read what would it be?

Similarly, given the diverse nature of the South African reading (and non-reading) public, I’d find it impossible to select one book to give all South Africans to read. For some, The Story of a South African Farm and Cry, the Beloved Country should perhaps be required reading, but for others the choice would be quite different. Perhaps, all things considered, J.M Coetzee’s The Life and Times of Michael K?

What are you reading at the moment?

The books I am reading at the moment include Levels of Life by Julian Barnes, Sigmaringen by Pierre Assouline and A Slim, Green Silence by Beverly Rycroft.