He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. He has taught at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England since 1970. He became a professor of European literature in 1987. From 1989 to 1994 was the first director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. He was born in Wertach in Allgau, Germany in 1944.
Anthea Bell was born in Suffolk, was educated at Somerville College, Oxford, and has worked as a translator for a number of years, 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. Bell has also served on the committee of the Translators` Association and the jury panel of the Schlegel-Tieck German translation prize in Great Britain. She has been the recipient of a number of translation prizes and awards, among them the 1987 Schlegel-Tieck Award for Hans Bermans The Stone and the Flute (Viking) and the first Marsh Award for Childrens Literature in Translation for Christine Nstlingers A Dogs Life (Andersen Press). Bell was selected by a five-member jury as the recipient of the 2002 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translators Prize for her exceptional translation of W.G. Sebalds novel Austerlitz, published Random House.