Anthea Bell was born in Suffolk, was educated at Somerville College, Oxford, and works as a translator, primarily from German and French. Her translations include works of non-fiction, literary and popular fiction, and books for young people including classic German works by the Brothers Grimm, Clemens Brentano, Wilhelm Hauff and Christian Morgenstern. She has been the recipient of a number of translation prizes and awards including the 1987 Schlegel-Tieck Award for Hans Berman's The Stone and the Flute, the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation for Christine Nï¿½stlinger's A Dog's Life, the 2002 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize for her translation of W.G. Sebald's novel Austerlitz, and the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize in 2009 for How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone.
German writer, composer, and painter ErnstTheodor Amadeus Hoffman was born in Konigsberg, Prussia in 1776. After beginning a career in the law, Hoffman turned to music, working as a conductor, music director, and critic, and later composing a ballet, an opera, and other works. He established himself as a writer with the four-volume story collection Phatasiestucke in Callier Manier (Fantasy Stories in the Manner of Callot), which was published in 1814-1815. Even though he published several novels and story collections, including Nachtstucke (Hoffman's Strange Stories, 1817) and Die Serapionsbruder (The Serapion Brethren, 1819-1821), Hoffman continued to support himself as a legal official in Berlin. This struggle between artistry and bureaucracy is played out in many of his works. Hoffman died of progressive paralysis in 1822.