Danuta Borchardt’s memoir, Life behind an Author’s Works—Memoir of a Translator, subtitled How I Came to Translate Witold Gombrowicz and the Many Faces of Thom covers about twenty years of her life. It deals with the art and craft of translating the novels of Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969), an avant-garde Polish writer, allegedly a nominee for the 1967 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Since she is not a native speaker of English, she interweaves her memoir with her life with her former husband, Thom Lane, a native speaker of American English. He becomes an excellent assistant in this work, and an admirer of the Gombrowicz’s style and ideas. Borchardt spares few details of the couple’s life together (and apart, as the story evolves), which include adventures, excitement and heart-break.
Borchardt’s interview with John Ronan on Writer’s Block, about the memoir, will be aired on Cape Ann TV on November 16 and November 23, 2017.
Danuta Borchardt is a Polish-born, retired psychiatrist, now a writer of fiction and non-fiction, and a translator of Polish literature. She won awards, and a PEN nomination, for her translations of the novels by Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969). She also published a translation of poems by C. Norwid’s (1821-1883). She has recently completed a translation of a collection of sea stories by her father, K. O. Borchardt, (1905-1986).
She is currently participating in a joint translation of scholarly writings by the Polish educator Janusz Korczak (1878-1942), martyred by German Nazis when they invaded Poland in 1939.
Her non-fiction, a memoir entitled Life behind an Author’s Works—Memoir of a Translator, is now available on Amazon.com.
She has lived in the US since 1959 and in Gloucester since 1965.