David Colmer has translated more than 50 books from the Dutch: novels, children’s literature, and poetry. He has won a number of translation prizes, including the 2009 Biennial NSW Premier and PEN Translation Prize for his body of work. In 2010 his translation of Gerbrand Bakker’s The Twin won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and in 2013 he won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for his translation of Bakker’s The Detour.


David on The Man I Became:

'I’d like to say that this book has the strangest narrator of my translation career, but in all fairness that honour still goes to the novel told by a length of canvas. In both cases I was struck by the absolute conviction of the story-telling. It’s not so much suspension of disbelief I had to emulate here as absolute belief. The impossible is not implausible, it just is. My task as a translator was to try to reproduce the author’s fluency and pace so that from the first word there’s nothing to distract readers from the events and consequences, to keep them moving through the story at optimal velocity so that their heads spin and stomachs drop in all the right places. Buckle up, it’s quite a ride.'