WATCH: Saskia Goldschmidt & tr. Antoinette Fawcett in conversation with Helen Sedgwick
May 25, 2021
UK book launch of SHOCKED EARTH, the timely environmental novel by acclaimed Dutch author Saskia Goldschmidt, translated from Dutch by Antoinette Fawcett.
Readings and conversation with Dutch author Saskia Goldschmidt and translator Antoinette Fawcett, hosted by author Helen Sedgwick. They discuss Goldschmidt’s latest novel, Shocked Earth, translated from Dutch by Fawcett – covering themes such as the danger of gas extraction/fracking, the neglect of rural communities and the generational and geographical divides that separate us.
Femke, her mother Trijn and her grandfather have very different ideas about how to run their family farm. Tensions between mother and daughter are growing; Femke wants to switch to sustainable growing practices, whilst her mother considers this an attack on tradition. To make matters worse, their home province of Groningen is experiencing a series of earthquakes caused by a gas extraction operation near their farm. While the cracks and splinters in their farmhouse increase, the authorities and the gas company refuse to offer the local farming community any help.
In Shocked Earth, Saskia Goldschmidt investigates what it means to have your identity intensely entwined with your place of birth and your principles at odds with your closest kin. And how to keep standing when the world as you know it is slowly falling apart.
“Exquisitely captures the way our lives and identities are interwoven with the land we live on, and how its destruction will ultimately be our own. A powerful portrait of a family … an essential call to action.” Helen Sedgwick
“A powerful and moving story of love, loss and determination to look ahead to the future.” Ben Smith, author of Doggerland
Saskia Goldschmidt studied at the Arts Academy Utrecht. The Hormone Factory (Saraband 2016) was nominated for several prizes and translated into seven languages. Her latest novel, Shocked Earth (Saraband 2021) is out 13 May.
Antoinette Fawcett is an award-winning member of the Translators Association of the Society of Authors. Her most recent literary translation is The Limits of My Language: Meditations on Depression, by Eva Meijer. Her 2018 translation of Eva Meijer’s Bird Cottage was shortlisted for the 2019 Vondel Prize.
Helen Sedgwick is an author of literary fiction and crime fiction, a literary editor, and a research physicist. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University and a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University, and has received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.