Translated by Hannah Felce
WITH THIS COLLECTION of short vignettes translated from Romansh, Switzerland’s smallest official language, Romana Ganzoni takes us on an educational journey through the Engadin Valley. Drifting from past to present, personal to political, local to global, Ganzoni explores the resilience of tradition in the face of the new, cosmopolitan world. Her language is rich and spontaneous as she plays creatively between lines of fact and fiction in her exploration of life and society in a unique and mountainous corner of Switzerland.
Romana Ganzoni was born in Scuol Tarasp, Grisons, in 1967 and studied history and German at the University of Zurich. Since then she has taught – interrupted by a one-year stay in London – for 20 years at various grammar schools in Zurich and the Engadin. Her first publication was in 2013 and her work has spanned several forms, including a dramatic monologue performed in 2018 and which won the Bündner Literature Prize in 2020. Ganzoni lives in Celerina with her husband Riet Ganzoni and their three children.
Hannah Felce grew up in Zuoz, a Romansh-speaking village in the Engadin. When her family moved back to the UK, questions of identity and multilingualism became a central interest of hers. She therefore pursued a master’s and PhD in translation studies. During this time, she has focused her research on the translation of Romansh literature, exploring works such as Gian Bundi’s Parevlas Engiadinaisas and Selina Chönz’s Uorsin in translation. Hannah has several years’ experience as a freelance translator from German and French into English, but this series sees her first two published translations from Romansh.