Having been an early director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, and vice-president of the International Translators Federation and a founding editor of 'In Other Words', the literary translators' journal, Peter Bush (Spalding, Lincolnshire), is - as there are no prizes for guessing - a literary translator. Until half a dozen or so years ago, his considerable international prestige was based on translations from French, Portuguese and Spanish (from which latter language, notably, he has translated major works by Juan Goytisolo and the Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura, as well as classics such as Alarcón's 'Three-Cornered Hat' and Fernando de Rojas's 'Celestina'). He then added Catalan to his repertoire, making authors such as Quim Monzó, Najat El Hachmi and Empar Moliner available to English language readers for the first time. Although this newfound Catalan career started off at kerb-crawling speed, as it were, it has now shot into overdrive, with no less than eight (8!) new books scheduled for publication in 2013. These include 'That Zen Moment', Teresa Solana's recent noir skit on alternative medicine; Joan Sales's Civil War masterpiece 'Uncertain Glory'; Mercè Rodoreda's 'La plaça del Diamant' (already an established modern classic in several other languages); and Josep Pla's bittersweet, embellished journal 'The Gray Notebook', as well as new work by Monzó and El Hachmi. For those English speakers who have long enjoyed direct access to Catalan language literature, the only fly in our ointment has been the perennial impossibility of talking about it with almost all other fellow English speakers. Indeed, I have spent years boring the pants (and occasionally even the arses) off friends in London - who heard me out with a patience bordering on the saintly – with my rundowns of what are for them unknown books spawned in an equally unknown culture. As of 2013 and thanks, almost single-handedly, to Peter Bush, they won't have to suffer my descriptive enthusiasm any more, able as they will finally be – if they wish - to prove the Catalan literary pudding by eating their fill of it.
Matthew Tree, Catalonia Today, maig de 2012