How to Read in Two Languages at Once

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At Hamburg’s Harbourfront Book Festival.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Harbourfront Literature Festival in Hamburg, Germany (i.e. not in  Toronto, which has a Harbourfront Book Fest of its own). Hamburg is a gorgeous city, though I saw little of it apart from the area adjacent to the Elbe River. What I did see was impressive. At the confluence of three huge waterways, it’s a very nautical city—meaning all the fish I ate was superb!

St. Michael Church

St. Michael Church. A landfall mark for ships on the Elbe since 1669.

At the festival itself, I had great fun performing a bilingual reading with the German writer, illustrator and actor, Martin Baltscheit, the talented voice of the German language Zorgamazoo audiobook.

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Martin Baltscheit, reading with gusto.

Martin was an expressive, highly entertaining reader. Not since the English audiobook have I had the pleasure of hearing someone so fully inhabit my characters, to say nothing of bringing them to life in a whole new language!

Many thanks to the Harbourfront Festival, their sponsors Gruner + Jahr Publishing House, Jessica Schlage for her hosting and translation, and to my German publishers, Jacoby & Stuart, for organising my attendance. Thanks to all. I had a wonderful time!

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Jessica Schlage, our excellent moderator.

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Me, doing my English thing.

(Festival photographs copyright Jenny Jacoby / G&J)

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2 THOUGHTS TO " How to Read in Two Languages at Once "

  1. Dear Rob –
    it was my pleasure!! Full house, children totally amazed and such a wonderful book – you and Martin really brought it to life that day! Wish you good luck for the Buchmesse and award nomination –

    warm regards from Hamburg (come back soon!)
    Jessica