Over the past few years there has been a growing and vocal enthusiasm for English translations of international fiction. Publishers like New Directions and Dalkey Archives, encouraged by the popularity and success of writers like Robert Bolaño, have grown more active publishing translations. Book stores have started arranging their fiction shelves by country of origin. In 2007 the University of Rochester’s translation program founded the translation-centered web site Three Percent and the affiliated publishing company Open Books. In New York City, where I live, I have observed how the spread of digital information has created a community of readers, myself among them, that wants to explore contemporary currents in foreign literature while rediscovering internationally renowned writers like Clarice Lispector who are little known in the United States.
As a semi-regular feature on Re:Print I will be discussing translations—reviewing new releases, celebrating innovative publishing, and exploring issues and trends in the market. I plan on delving more deeply into these topics, but for this first entry I would like to highlight some recent news of note: