Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Literary translator from Russian, German and Arabic into English

Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a British literary translator of German, Arabic and Russian fiction and nonfiction into English, with a particular interest in children’s books.

She was shortlisted by The Arts Foundation for a literary translation fellowship in 2016.  Her translation of Ulrich Raulff’s Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship was named the Sunday Times’ History Book Of The Year 2017 and was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week in the same year. 

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


Ruth’s publications:



* Eman Abdel Rahim, 'Two Sisters' in Book of Cairo (Comma Press, 2019)

Eerie short story about a cannibal in a video store, for this collection of Egyptian short stories

* Rania Mamoun, 'Bird of Paradise' in Banthology (Comma Press/Deep Vellum 2018) 

A teenage girl tries to escape from Sudan, but finds herself trapped at the airport.

* Hanna Winter, Sacrifice (Manila/Simon and Schuster, 2016) 

Female detective hunts for Berlin-based serial killer only to find herself becoming hunted by him

* Fadi Zaghmout, The Bride of Amman (Signal 8, 2015) 
Jordan’s Sex in the City: the intertwined lives of three women and a gay man in Amman

* Several short stories and excerpts from novels published in Literary Hub, Words Without Borders, The Common, The Guardian, The Massachusetts Review, The Washington Post, Banipal Magazine of Modern Arab Literature.



* Katja Frixe, The Magical Bookshop (Oneworld, forthcoming 2019)

With a talking mirror and a rhyming cat, the bookshop is Clara’s sanctuary when her best friend moves away, and when it’s at risk of closing she has to do her bit to save it

* Gulnar Hajo and Abir Ali, Nour's Escape (Darf, 2019)

Thought-provoking picture book by Syrian author and illustrator, exploring refuge and asking, can we ever escape from the story we’re born into?

* Gulnar Hajo, The Dot that Couldn't Sit Still (Darf, 2019)

A playful meditation on creativity and restlessness – with fidgety dots making shapes and discovering team work

* Ahlam Bsharat, Trees for Absentees (w. Sue Copeland, Neem Tree Press, 2019)

A teenage Palestinian girl deals with loss in her own creative way, with her father in an Israeli prison and her late grandmother living on in her memories


* Yulia Yakovleva, The Raven’s Children (Puffin, Sept 2018) 

Magical realism and fantasy cross with historical drama, as a 7-year-old boy’s parents are taken away in the night by the secret police in during Stalin's purges in 1930s Leningrad

* Thomas Bärnthaler, Now Make This (w. Jessica West, Phaidon, April 2018) 

24 craft ideas for kids by 24 international designers

* Kathrin Rohmann, Apple Cake and Baklava (Darf, April 2018) 

A Syrian girl’s first days at her new school in Germany. Leila loses a precious memento of home but makes a new friend in the quest to find it


* Ute Daenschel and Kerstin Lücker, A History of the World with the Women Put Back In (w. Jessica West, The History Press, 2019)

Global history with a focus on the ideas and beliefs at the heart of society and politics. Where did misogyny come from and how have women battled against it? When, where and how did the world become so sexist?

* Peter Wohlleben, Walks in the Wild (Rider Books, 2019)

Exploring forests and woodlands from Germany’s bestselling and beloved forester

* Samar Yazbek, introduction to Sourya Photo Album (w. Nashwa Gowanlock, ASML/Syria, 2019)

A moving collection of photos charting the experience of Syrians displaced by war; fundraiser for the press freedom charity ASML/Syria

* Peter Wohlleben, The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs (Rider Books, June 2018) 

A gardener and nature lover’s dream: everything you can learn about nature and science from the comfort of your garden or local wild space

* Ulrich Raulff, Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship (Allen Lane, 2017)

The history of horses in art and culture, industry and war; with beautiful colour plates of horses in painting and sculpture

* Olzhas Suleimenov, The Prehistory of the Turkic-Speaking Peoples (w. Ian Appleby; TEAS Press, 2016) 

Linguistics and social history, exploring the impact of Turkic languages and culture on Russian and Slavic languages

* Samar Yazbek, The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria (w. Nashwa Gowanlock; Rider Books, 2015) 

Journalist, author and activist Yazbek makes three brave journeys from exile back to war-torn Syria to interview rebels and fighters in the rebel-held areas (regions liberated from the Assad regime)

* Dimitry Morozov, Kitezh: a Community Approach to Raising Children in Russia (w. Laura Casiraghi and Emily Justice; Eland, 2008)

Innovative educator and founder of Kitezh school and fostering community, Morozov charts their success in providing a therapeutic environment for orphans and traumatised children

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, children's books,