Françoise Frenkel was born in Poland in 1889. In 1921 she set up a French-language bookshop in Berlin. The store was fundamental to the cultural life of the city well into the 1930s when Frenkel was forced to flee after her bookshop was raided by the Nazis. A life in hiding in Vichy France was no better and she made a final desperate and successful attempt to reach neutral Switzerland, where this memoir was eventually published in 1945. It was rediscovered in an attic in 2010 and published again by Gallimard in France in October 2015. This is the first English-language edition.
Stephanie Smee is a translator into English of all things literary and French.
Her other languages include German, Italian and Swedish.
Having worked as a lawyer in Sydney and London, Stephanie happily traded in a legal career for a return to her linguistic calling. After several years as a legal translator, she left the world of pleadings and contractual documents behind and made her literary translation début with a new English translation of nineteenth-century French children's author the Countess de Ségur's Fleurville trilogy, published by Simon & Schuster (Australia) in 2010.
The trilogy includes the perennially popular Sophie’s Misfortunes, Camille and Madeleine: A Tale of Two Perfect Little Girls and The Holidays.
Stephanie's subsequent translations of the Countess's works – also published by Simon & Schuster (Australia) – include the wonderfully cheeky Monsieur Cadichon: Memoirs of a Donkey(2011) and A Room at Guardian Angel Inn(2012), and its sequel, General Dourakine(2013).
Her translation of Jules Verne's wonderful historical adventure novel, Michel Strogoff: Moscou–Irkoutsk was published by Eagle Books in April 2016. It is the first new translation of this exciting classic in over one hundred years.
Stephanie is also working with her Swedish mother on the first English translation of the original iconic Swedish children's stories featuring Pelle Svanslös by Gösta Knutsson. They will be published by Piccolo Nero, the children's imprint of Black Inc. publishers, in 2017.
She is very excited about her current project: Penguin Random House's Vintage imprint will be publishing her translation from the French of Françoise Frenkel's Rien où poser sa tête, an extraordinary story of one woman's attempt to survive the horrors of Vichy France.