Obituary note: John Cullen

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Obituary note: John Cullen

May 07 2021

John Christopher Cullen III, the renowned translator of more than 50 novels and works of nonfiction into English, died on April 15. He was 79 years old.

Born in New Orleans, La., in 1942, Cullen earned a Ph.D. in English literature and traveled extensively in Europe before returning to the United States and beginning his career as a translator in 1987. Fluent in German, Italian, Spanish and French, Cullen translated the work of writers such as Kamel Daoud, Martin Dumont and VĂ©ronique Tadjo.

Kira Wizner, co-owner of Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, N.Y., who knew Cullen and his wife, the novelist Valerie Martin, said Cullen was a "wordsmith, and like any true master, loved language." Through his work as a translator, she wrote, "readers in English were gifted a version that worked because John was, dare I say, holistic. The words, the mood, the subtext, all accounted for."

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