Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Literary translator from Russian, German and Arabic into English

Ruth is a British literary translator of Russian, German and Arabic into English.

She mainly translates children's books, adult fiction and non-fiction, with a particular interest in history, travel, nature, human rights, linguistics and education.

She is the translator of Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship, by Ulrich Raulff (Allen Lane 2017, Liveright USA 2018), which was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week in May 2017 and named History Book of the Year 2017 by The Sunday Times.

Ruth's most recent publications are a short story in Banthology (Comma Press) and Sourya Photo Album, published by ASML/Syria, for which Ruth and Nashwa Gowanlock co-translated the introduction by Samar Yazbek.

Publications in spring 2018 include Apple Cake and Baklava by Kathrin Rohmann, a middle-grade novel about a Syrian girl settling into a new school in Germany, and a DIY book for crafty kids: Now Make This, by Thomas Bärnthaler (a co-translation with Jessica West, for Phaidon).

Two more books Ruth has translated will be out this summer: The Raven's Children by Yulia Yakovleva (a magical and creepy story about a boy whose parents are taken away in the night in Stalinist Leningrad), and the third book to be translated into English by bestselling German forester Peter Wohlleben, The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature's Secret Signs. Ruth is currently working on another book by Wohlleben, this one about forests.

Ruth has previously published translations in The Guardian, The Observer, Banipal, Literary HubWords Without Borders, Index on Censorship, The New Arab, The Massachusetts Review, The Common, Art and Thought magazine, and in anthologies published by Pushkin Press and Comma Press. She has translated and edited children's books for Outside in World and Neem Tree Press

She is also a very experienced commercial translator and editor, and regularly translates for a range of research institutions, charities and NGOs.

She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Arabic Translation (IOLET DipTrans, 2013), an MA in Translation and Interpreting (University of Bath, 2006; including IOLET DipTrans, 2004) and an MA Oxon in Medieval and Modern Language and Literature (Russian and German) from St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford (2003).

In 2016 she was shortlisted by The Arts Foundation for a literary translation fellowship and the same year she was the Arabic literary translation tutor at City University’s summer school, Translate in the City.

Fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction, children's literature, picture books, translation, editing, reader's reports, contemporary fiction, reference books, publicity, children's events
Fiction, children's fiction, history, politics, travel, ecology, journalism, human rights, anthropology, linguistics, education, journalism, crime, thrillers, historical fiction, political fiction, children's non-fiction, picture books, reference books, world kid lit, young adult, early readers, chapter books, nature writing