John E. Woods

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John Edwin Woods is a translator who specializes in translating German literature, since about 1978. His work includes much of the fictional prose of Arno Schmidt and the works of contemporary authors such as Ingo Schulze and Christoph Ransmayr. He also translated all the major novels of Thomas Mann (a feat comparable, in simple page count, to a wholly new translation of Proust), as well as works by many other writers. Woods lives in Berlin.

Selected translations[edit]

Alfred Döblin[edit]

  • A People Betrayed
  • Karl and Rosa

Doris Dörrie[edit]

  • Love, Pain, and the Whole Damn Thing
  • What Do You Want from Me?

Friedrich Dürrenmatt[edit]

  • A Monster Lecture on Justice and Law
  • The Execution of Justice

Günter Grass[edit]

  • Show Your Tongue

Thomas Mann[edit]

Libuše Moníková[edit]

Wilhelm Raabe[edit]

  • Horacker

John Rabe[edit]

Christoph Ransmayr[edit]

Arno Schmidt[edit]

Ingo Schulze[edit]

  • 33 Augenblicke des Glücks: 33 Moments of Happiness

Patrick Süskind[edit]

Hans-Ulrich Treichel[edit]

  • Leaving Sardinia


For his edition of Schmidt's Evening Edged in Gold, Woods received the 1981 U.S. National Book Award in category Translation (a split award).[1] He won the PEN Prize for translation twice, for that work and again for Perfume in 1987. Woods was also awarded the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize for his translations of Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain and Arno Schmidt's Nobodaddy's Children in 1996;[2] as well as the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for the translation of Christoph Ransmayr's The Last World in 1991. He was awarded the Ungar German Translation Award in 1995, and most recently the prestigious Goethe-Medaille from the Goethe Institute in 2008.


  1. ^ a b "National Book Awards – 1981". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
    There was a "Translation" award from 1966 to 1983.
  2. ^ "John E. Woods: Recipient of the 1996 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize". Goethe Institute. Retrieved 2011-01-09.

External links[edit]