CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 13, 2000
Once forgotten Danish best-seller translated by UI law professor
IOWA CITY, Iowa In Denmark, "The Fisherman" is the best-selling
novel of all time. But the tale about the lives of a small group of pietistic
Danish fisherman and their families who sojourn from peril and destitution
near the North Sea coast for better lives on an inland fjord is totally unknown
to English reading audiences. Until now.
Marc Linder, University of Iowa law professor, has spent much of the last
year translating to English Hans Kirk's 1928 Danish book, which has been printed
in 12 languages but not English. Linder's English translation resurrects for
a new readership, the lives of the men and women who resettled in eastern
Jutland (west of Copenhagen) where sexual, economic, religious, legal and
other conflicts emerge between them and the established, less dogmatic Lutheran
Linder will read from his translation of the novel and tell about his passion
in making it readable for a new public at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 at the
Northside Book Market, 201 N. Linn Street, Iowa City.
Linder was given the Danish version of the book 25 years ago as a gift while
he was teaching in Denmark. He has wanted to translate it since he returned.
Recently after rediscovering it on his bookshelf, he set out to do just that.
Along the way he received help from some local Danes who helped him understand
Jutland's particular Danish dialect.
Penguin Books once owned the English language rights, but never published
a translation. When Linder approached other publishers, they all declined
to become involved with an old book that was unknown in the United States.
The translation was published by Fanpihua Press in Iowa City and is now available
in local bookstores, some of which are donating the proceeds to the UI Libraries.
Linder specializes in labor law and is the author of "Of Cabbages and
Kings County," (1999) UI Press and "Void Where Prohibited,"
a 1998 book about workers' rights.