5 Minutes with Elizabeth DeNoma

5 Minutes with Elizabeth DeNoma

Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma is a Senior Editor at Amazon Crossing, the translation imprint at Amazon Publishing. Some of her most significant acquisitions include works by international icon Marc Levy, works by Greek Women’s Fiction sensation Lena Manta, and biographies by Dutch bestselling author and award winner Annejet van der Zijl. Most notably this year, Elizabeth has worked closely with Swedish author and journalist Jan Stocklassa on The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin.

Prior to joining Amazon Crossing, Elizabeth completed her PhD in Scandinavian languages and literature at the University of Washington and taught for several years at the University of Wisconsin –Madison. Elizabeth also serves on the board of directors of the Richard Hugo House, a literary space for writers in Seattle, Washington, USA.


What was the last book you read?

Oh. If I’m honest, it was the 37th book in a series that I’m reading with my son about a society of feral cats. But if I exclude the cat books, it was Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.

How did you buy it?

I bought the cat books online and the lovely delivery people brought them to my house. The Groff book was a gift from Tree Swenson at Hugo House, a literary space for writers and readers in Seattle, Washington, where I sit on the board of directors.

And what did you read it on?

On my couch, in front of the fire.

What’s next on your reading list?

My Kindle is loaded with digital library books to read on the flight to London Book Fair. The two I’m plunging into first are: War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans, translated from Dutch by David McKay and The Future is History by Masha Gessen. And then I imagine I’ll have many sample translations to read on my return trip.

Which writer would you have loved to have met and why?

Well, I was going to say Virginia Woolf because I was obsessed with her writing for the majority of my undergraduate life, but upon reflection she might be better to read than to chat with, so I’ll say Gore Vidal – his historical works are ones I still give as gifts – and he was awfully entertaining.

Tell us what you do in 20 words.

Along with our talented team, I scour the globe looking for remarkable books that should find a home in English.

What do you like about your job?

So much of it – the treasure hunt for fantastic material from around the world, the match-making of original text with just the right translator, the tiny ways in which we editors sculpt the works to get them just right for the light in English, the designers we work with to capture a cover that conveys to readers something meaningful about the book– it’s a complete pleasure.

Which is your favourite bookshop or e-bookstore and why?

I love all bookstores, physical…digital…you name it. You’re likely to find me at Elliot Bay Bookstore in Seattle or Foyle’s if I’m in London. Both wonderful, quite different spaces. That said, I also find great things online, mostly at Abebooks.com or Amazon – where I found the 37th book in the society of feral cats series!

What is the one essential item you bring to the Fair?

Charging chords! With the back-to-back meetings we undertake here, it’s critical to have a fully charged phone to get messages when people are running late – or more honestly – to tell people when I’m running late.

What piece of advice would you give first-timers at the Fair?

Wear comfortable shoes.


Amazon Crossing is a sponsor of the Literary Translation Centre at The London Book Fair 2019. AT LBF 2019, Amazon Crossing is running the following seminars:

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