“The 2013 calendar year was packed with literary translation news. At least two new publishers entered the field: Frisch & Co. published its first e-books, and New Vessel Press brought out its first titles. In addition to bringing out the twentieth volume in its translation anthology series, Two Lines’ new book publishing arm published its first titles. And the long-anticipated Library of Arabic Literature launched six more books, following its first offering in December 2012.”
See the full list here.
“Suhrkamp, Anagrama, Companhia das Letras. These are publishers that need no introduction in Germany, Spain, Brazil or anywhere in the world of publishing. They can be said to represent the literary heritages of their respective languages; they are culturally meaningful to their respective countries in a way that few English-language publishers can claim; and they all continue to publish first-class literature.
Yet, few of their frontlist books are translated into English. These publishers have been told by English publishers, more or less, thanks but no thanks. And it’s not for lack of trying; they all have first-class foreign rights departments who sell rights to their books all over the world.”
I wrote a short piece on literature in English translation and the problems it presents for foreign publishers. You can read it on The Bookseller here.
“Scott Esposito speaks with E.J. Van Lanen, a former editor at Open Letter and now publisher at Frisch & Co., a new translation press based in Berlin. Frisch & Co. is unique in that it publishes exclusively e-books, drawing on the catalogues of some of Europe’s oldest and most respected publishers for its translations. E.J. Van Lanen explains the reasons behind choosing Berlin as a base and e-books as a product, and discusses his own history of reading electronically (and divulging his favorite e-reading software in the process). He then details several aspects of his publishing venture, from his relationships with the European presses, translators, and authors, to pricing and the online market, to the challenges of distribution and attracting readers.”
You can listen to the episode here.
“Adrian Bravi’s prose is original and engaging, and full credit goes to translator Richard Dixon. . . The Combover by Adrian Bravi contains more depth and darkness than one might expect from its title. I would recommend it to those who find intrigue in the unusual.”
You can read the rest of the review here.
“Through his his quirky protagonist Gherarducci he questions the unique father-son bond that often manifests itself in wholly unexpected ways and wonders why some children wildly rebel against their parents while others fiercely bond with them. He also asks if a life of solitude is really preferable over one filled with the joy that only lasting, meaningful connections with others can bring. Perhaps most importantly however, Bravi questions whether or not those personal hang-ups we each cling to oh-so-tightly are really as important as we believe them to be in our twisted little brains.”
Read the rest of the review here.
It so happens that I’ve been publishing literature in translation for a few years, almost ten by now, and as with all other kinds of book publishing pursuits, though it’s made for a pleasant sort of life, it’s been a struggle—whether in trying to succeed with translated books at a larger publisher, finding allies in the internal, and eternal, fight for institutional attention, or at a smaller publisher, where simply maintaining forward momentum, feeling as though you can afford to continue to publish next month’s or next season’s books, let alone have the resources to find the readers your writers deserve, can feel like an overwhelming task. . .