Translated by Hannah Felce
AGAINST THE BACKDROP of the changing seasons, Rut Plouda deftly interweaves descriptions of the daily routine on her remote Alpine farm with the pain of her disabled son’s early death but also the redemptive joy of his short life. In this deeply moving and personal story, Plouda watches from the window as, despite everything, nature continues to renew. Like running the farm, her grief gradually becomes an everyday reality and life, like the coming and going of the swallows and the turning of the acer leaves, goes on.
Rut Plouda was born in Tarasp, Grisons, in 1948 and was the third of four daughters. Writing was her dream from a young age and she wrote her first poems in secondary school. She was first published in 1986 and has worked as a teacher in Savognin and Ftan, where she met her future husband. They had three children: two daughters and a son and together ran a farm while she wrote several poetry collections and a novel for young people. The death of their son, in 1996, forms the basis of As If Nothing Were and the book from which it is taken won the Schiller Prize in 2001. Plouda has also written regularly for Radio Rumantsch and has had two of her poems set to music: 'Fanzognas' and 'Mias s-charpas'. Her work is highly celebrated in Switzerland and abroad.
Hannah Felce grew up in Zuoz, a Romansh-speaking village in the Engadin in south-east Switzerland. When her family moved back to the UK, questions of identity and multilingualism became a central interest. Speaking English, German and Romansh, she pursued a Master’s and PhD in translation studies at Cardiff University. During this time, her research was focused on the translation of Romansh literature, exploring works such as Gian Bundi's Parevlas Engiadinaisas and Selina Chönz and Alois Carigiet's Uorsin and its sequels in translation. Hannah has several years of experience as a freelance translator from German and French into English, but this series features her first two published translations from Romansh.
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