Sandra Smith was born and raised in New York City. As an undergraduate, she spent one year studying at the Sorbonne and fell in love with Paris. Immediately after finishing her B.A., she was accepted to do a Master’s Degree at New York University, in conjunction with the Sorbonne, and so lived in Paris for another year. She then moved to England, where she began teaching 20th Century French Literature, Modern French Drama and Translation at Cambridge University.
Sandra Smith is the translator of all 12 novels by Irène Némirovsky available in English, as well as a new translation of Camus’ L’Etranger (The Outsider, Penguin UK, 2012). Her translation of Némirovsky’s Suite Française (2006) won the French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize for fiction, as well as the PEN Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize, the first time that the same book has ever won both prizes in the same year. Suite Française also won the Independent British Booksellers Book of the Year prize and was voted Book of the Year by The Times of London.
Smith’s translation of The Necklace and Other Stories by Guy de Maupassant was inspired by her belief that Maupassant was a master of the short story genre who should be discovered by English speaking readers.
Awards and Recognition
- French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize for fiction
- PEN Translation Prize
- Independent British Booksellers Book of the Year prize 2006
- Suite Française voted Book of the Year by The Times of London 2006