David Bellos had his first taste of translation when he read a Penguin Classics edition of Crime and Punishment while sitting in the attendant's hut in the car park at Southend Airport; that same summer, he got his first interpreting job – helping a seafood seller to import Portuguese oysters from a middleman in France. He went on to teach French language and literature at Edinburgh, Southampton and Manchester, but it was only when he encountered Georges Perec's Life A User's Manual and was so convinced it should be read in English that he dared to think he too could become a translator. Since then he has translated many books from French and won numerous prizes, including the first Man Booker International Translator's Award and the Goncourt Prize for biography for the French translation of Georges Perec: A Life in Words. He is now Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton, where her directs the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He clings to the view that even the most difficult and complicated things can be spoken of in plain and comprehensible prose.