An Afternoon with Tom Gauld

It doesn’t happen everyday. Sometimes translators are in touch with their authors, sometimes we get to meet them in person and sometimes we even have the chance to chat with them for a while. But rarely can we spend a whole afternoon with an author we admire, ask them whatever we want and then hear them speak in public in the evening.

That’s what happened to me a few days ago when Tom Gauld came to Barcelona to speak at Primera Persona, a literary festival held at CCCB. He also launched the Spanish edition of his new book, Cooking with Kafka (Salamandra Graphic), which I translated a few months ago. It features wonderful strips such as these two the publisher has animated for our enjoyment:

Before that book, I had already translated a graphic novel by Gauld that’s sweet and funny and endearing, Mooncop. There’s also a video:

And so it happened that I spent the afternoon as Tom’s interpreter for several interviews with the Spanish press, such as this one for El Periódico.

At one point, he signed a copy of the Spanish edition of Mooncop for me, and then I asked him if he could possible draw me while I was translating one of his books. He made me this caricature on the credit page of the Spanish edition of Cooking with Kafka:

Dedicatoria de Tom Gauld

And then, in the evening, he gave his talk at Primera Persona. The theatre was packed:

It was, to sum it up, a memorable day. And luckily there was absolutely no tension of this sort between author and translator:

El autor y su traductor

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