Frank Wynne

Frank Wynne

literary translator and writer.

Biography

Early life and university

Frank Wynne was born in 1962 and grew up in Strandhill, Co. Sligo. His father - with T R Henn and others - was among the founding members of the Yeats Summer School in Sligo in 1959, and was President of the school until his death. Through the Summer School, Wynne was introduced to literary figures (whose lectures he recorded with a tape recorder), among them Richard Ellmann and Seamus Heaney [cite web | url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/article611183.ece| title=Ireland: Working on a bigger canvas (Interview with Frank Wynne| accessdae=2007-12-14 | publisher=The Sunday Times]

He was raised "in the dark depths [of] Irish Catholicism". [cite web | url=http://www.terribleman.com/Site/About_Me.html | title=Personal Biography on Website | accessdae=2007-12-14 publisher=Frank Wynne] . Apart from the summer school, he describes his childhood as a standard 1970's Irish childhood, of "single-channel television. Pop radio was Luxembourg [radio] , which came through faintly at night through the static. The first gig I saw was Eric Clapton at the Baymount hotel when I was 14." [cite web | url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/article611183.ece| title=Ireland: Working on a bigger canvas (Interview with Frank Wynne| accessdae=2007-12-14 | publisher=The Sunday Times] He attended Sligo Grammar School and later Trinity College Dublin, where he read English and Philosophy, although he left after two years [cite web | url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/article611183.ece| title=Ireland: Working on a bigger canvas (Interview with Frank Wynne| accessdae=2007-12-14 | publisher=The Sunday Times] . It was in Dublin that he first connected with the gay scene, through the Hirschfeld Centre [cite web | url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/article611183.ece| title=Ireland: Working on a bigger canvas (Interview with Frank Wynne| accessdae=2007-12-14 | publisher=The Sunday Times] . He also began working the graveyard shift on Chris Carey's pirate radio station Radio Nova.

Comic book years

In 1984 he moved to Paris, where he stayed for three years. He moved to London in 1987, at first managing a small French bookshop in Kensington, which sold, among other things, graphic novels. Wynne became involved in the bandes dessinées movement in London and was hired to work on "Revolver". From there he moved to "Crisis" before becoming managing editor of "Deadline" magazine, home of Tank Girl.

AOL and subsequent literary career

After the demise of "Deadline" in 1994-5, in part through the badly received film version of "Tank Girl", he worked for a time as editorial director of AOL UK. cquote|I was employee number seven in AOL UK. I went from being the youngest person in every company I had worked for to being the second-oldest person in AOL. [cite web | url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/article611183.ece| title=Ireland: Working on a bigger canvas (Interview with Frank Wynne accessdae=2007-12-14 | publisher=The Sunday Times] After he left AOL, he began translating the works of Michel Houellebecq. He now dedicates his time fully to writing and translations.

He describes himself as being of "no fixed abode", having lived and travelled widely in Central and South America, the Netherlands, Hungary, Turkey, Ireland and the UK. [cite web | url=http://www.terribleman.com/Site/About_Me.html | title=Personal Biography on Website | accessdae=2007-12-14 publisher=Frank Wynne]

Translation

He has worked as a literary translator for many years translating the novels of Michel Houellebecq. He jointly won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with Houellebecq for "Atomised", his translation of "Les particules élémentaires". He has subsequently translated Houellebecq's novels "Platform" and "Lanzarote", together with novels by Pierre Mérot, Frederic Beigbeder and the late Ivoirian novelist Ahmadou Kourouma.

His translation of Frederic Beigbeder's "Windows on the World", a novel set in the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York during the September 11, 2001 attacks, won the 2005 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Wynne also translated a number of French "bandes dessinées", including graphic novels by Enki Bilal, Lorenzo Mattotti, Max Cabanes and Édika.

His translation of Beigbeder's "Holiday in a Coma" and "Love Lasts Three Years" won the 2008 Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize

Non-fiction

His first non-fiction book, "I Was Vermeer", a biography of Han van Meegeren was published by Bloomsbury in August 2006. Between 1938 and 1944 van Meegeren forged seven paintings, passing them off as lost masterpieces by Vermeer. The works were authenticated by some of the finest art critics in Europe, among them Abraham Bredius, who acclaimed Van Meegeren's forgery "The Supper at Emmaus" as "one of - I would go so far as to say * the* masterpiece by Johannes Vermeer of Delft". Wynne's biography, "I was Vermeer" has been serialised as the BBC Radio 4 "Book of the Week" (read by Anton Lesser) for August 7-12 2006.

Selected translations

* "Atomised" by Michel Houellebecq
* "Platform" by Michel Houellebecq (adapted by Carnal Acts for the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA))
* "Lanzarote" by Michel Houellebecq
* "Windows on the World" by Frédéric Beigbeder
* "Mammals" by Pierre Mérot
* "Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote" by Ahmadou Kourouma
* "Allah is Not Obliged" by Ahmadou Kourouma
* "In the Absence of Men" by Philippe Besson
* "His Brother" by Philippe Besson
* "The Parrot's Theorem" by Denis Guedj
* "The Little Book of Philosophy" by André Comte-Sponville
* "Somewhere in a Desert" by Dominique Sigaud (a "New York Times" notable book)

Awards

* 2008: Winner of the Scott Moncrieff Prize for the translation of "Holiday in a Coma" and "Love Lasts Three Years" by Frédéric Beigbedger
* 2005: Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for "Windows on the World" by Frédéric Beigbedger
* 2002: Winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for "Atomised"' by Michel Houellebecq

Nominations

* 2008: shortlisted for the French-American Foundation/Florence Gould Translation Prize for Ahmadou Kourouma's "Allah is not Obliged"
* 2002: shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for "Atomised" by Michel Houellebecq.
* 1998: shortlisted for the George Weidenfeld Translation Prize for "Somewhere in a Desert".

References

External links

* [http://www.frankwynne.com Frank Wynne]
* [http://www.houellebecq.info Michel Houellebecq]
* [http://www.portnawak.net/beigbeder/ S.N.O.B. Site Non Officiel de Frédéric Beigbeder]
* [http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/minisites/allahisnot/ Allah is Not Obliged]
* [http://www.unesco.org/courier/1999_03/uk/dires/txt1.htm UNESCO appraisal of Ahmadou Kourouma]


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