Born and educated in Berlin, Barbara Perlmutter began her career in publishing in New York during the mid-sixties, working at the JOAN DAVES Literary Agency in New York. At the time, the agency handled the original works of several American authors, like Dr. Martin Luther King, but of great emphasis was the representation of several major German publishers: Suhrkamp, Piper, S. Fischer Verlag and others. Barbara Perlmutter offered their German classics and new young German authors to US publishers, for translation into English. It was the high time of Uwe Johnson, Max Frisch, Peter Weiss, Heinar Kipphardt, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and the all-time bestseller classic Hermann Hesse.
From 1978 on, Barbara worked as scout and representative for S. FISCHER VERLAG (including SFV Theater, Krueger, Scherz). During the following three decades, working for this Frankfurt publisher, Barbara handled the oeuvre of many German classics in need of new agreements, new translations, complicated copyright searches, or even first translations altogether. These included the works of Thomas Mann, Golo Mann, Franz Werfel, Franz Kafka, Elias Canetti, Carl Zuckmayer, Hans Keilson and contemporary authors, like Judith Hermann, Reiner Kunze, Wolfgang Hilbig, Gerhard Roth, Julia Franck, Dieter Kühn and Monika Maron. A three-volume Kafka biography by Reiner Stach, published by Princeton University Press and the new translation of Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, to be published soon by New York Review of Books, are some of Barbara’s recent book projects.