Some of My Translations

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In addition to being a writer, I’ve worked as a translator from French to English for the past dozen years. While much of my work involved translating technical documents, I have also translated a number of books, and excerpts from books. Here is a list of some of my translations, links to samples, and links to pages on for those books that have been published. (Alas, several of them are out of print…)


China in a Mirror, by Roland and Sabrina Michaud. This lovely book combines photographs of today’s China with, on facing pages, pictures of Chinese art that mirrors the photos. I translated the preface to this book, which was written by my friend Cyrille Javary.

Understanding the I Ching, by Cyrille Javary, is a book about the I Ching, its history, and its usage. The book is out of print, but you should be able to find used copies in a number of online bookstores. The link at the beginning of this paragraph takes you to a page about the book with an excerpt from it.

Lebanon, the Phoenician Pearl is a beautiful book of photos and history about Lebanon.

Versailles is a small, color art and history book about the Château de Versailles, as seen through the kings and queens that lived there.

Marrakesh: The Secret of Its Courtyard Houses is a beautiful book about the houses hidden behind the walls of Marrakesh. You will never be able to see most of these houses, but this book looks at the architecture and the history of this style of house.

Arabesques, by Jean-Marc Castéra, is an astounding book about arabesques, the ceramic mosaics traditional in northern Africa and the Middle East. Not only does it present these works of art, but it also shows the mathematic underpinnings of their design.

Paris; ah, gay Paree, as we say. A book that recounts the history of the city of lights, with memorable photos of the architecture that makes Paris so magical.


Genia, by Manual Martin, a spiritual thriller, written long before that other best-selling book which codified the genre. Abundant samples are available on the web site.

The Warriors of Silence, by Pierre Bordage. Two sample chapters of this unpublished novel. Pierre Bordage is one of France’s best-selling science fiction authors. I’ve translated other long excerpts of Pierre Bordage’s work for French publishers; I do not have the rights to post them here.

The Story of the Grail, by Chrétien de Troyes. A work-in-progress that I’ll finish one day. You can download several sections of this work in PDF format.

I am always interested in translating books, both fiction and non-fiction, so if you are a publisher, editor or author, feel free to send me an e-mail. I’m especially interested in 19th century French fiction, classics such as Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac and Guy de Maupassant; history; science; science ficton; and mysteries and thrillers.

2 replies
  1. Pieter says:

    Hi Kirk

    The internet really shrinks the world doesn’t it. I’m a South African living in Kanada and I’m busy writing an epic historic poem in African-Dutch(Afrikaans). The contents of the poem has a linkage with the Grail Legend which lead met to Chretien de Troyes, which lead me to your English Translation as (in spite of being of French lineage) my French is non-existant. I’m more interested in the quest portion of the the Grail story however but your translation hasn’t reached that point yet – is there any hope of you placing more of the translation in the forseeable future or alternatively can you perhaps suggest a site where I’d be able to access an English version online? Thanks for your help. Pieter

  2. Orell says:

    Mr. Kirk,

    I am working on a paper for my Ph.D., at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. My paper about masculine psychology and myself of course finds me reading about the the search for the Holy Grail (the Ultimate, Jungian 4th level), and now to you and your translation by Chrétien de Troyes.

    I like your work. I find it strong.

    And I chuckled as I read your “work-in-progress that I’ll finish one day.” The irony for me was that you hope to finish an unfinished manuscript. And with this quest you, yourself are on the journey of finding your own Grail (yes, of course I can read your mind. lol).

    Anyway, I hope to hear from you, but if not have a fine and grand life.


    PS: I like the translation of certain Swedish Fairy Tales by Holger Lundbergh especially Alfred Smedberg’s “The Seven Wishes.” A humorous and painful story of the boy-fool and the beginnings of his adventure into manhood (The story is both that of Perceval’s coming of age and his quest, or not?).


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