Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah form a multilingual mother-and-daughter translation team. Emily has an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in German Studies. Fleur, her mother, is Finnish and has translated both fiction and non-fiction for many years. Emily and Fleur have co-translated work by numerous Finnish poets and novelists. They are also the translators of The Brothers, Peirene No 7, and Mr Darwin's Gardener, Peirene No 11.
Emily on White Hunger:
'White Hunger is a spare, bleak book; I saw it as my task to preserve the pared-down quality of the narration, allowing the story that unfolds to emerge with full and devastating force. The imagery - which is both lovely and disturbing - had to come across with the same terrible power. One of the features of the text I most admire is its handling of point of view; the narrative enters the heads of its characters, so that the fates that befall them hit home hard. I wanted to do justice to the narrative voice especially at moments when the reader can hardly bear to be party to what is going on, but cannot look away. The political and ethical power of the book is bound up with its aesthetic: compassionate, unblinking, unsparing,
Fleur on White Hunger:
Working on the text, I was struck by both the beauty of the language and the terror contained in the imagery, which is stunningly apt and original not florid or decorative, but integral to this narrative of hunger, cold and misery. The book is set in 1860s Finland, which has been struck by famine, but despite being rooted in history, it has a timeless quality in its handling of questions of morality: it shows the kindness of ordinary people, the hard-heartedness of others, the influence of politics and class. I was deeply moved by the book and impressed by its economy. The hope it offers towards the end is measured and hard-won, in no way offering a facile redemption.