An Article about a Book I'm Working On [100 Best Translations of the Century]
I’ve made reference to this a few different times—in a couple posts, on the podcast—but this article in today’s Frankfurt Show Daily (also available as a PDF) is the first official mention of the book that I’m writing with Stephen Sparks of Green Apple Books. (Granted, we don’t have a publisher yet, but we do have an agent — Marleen Seegers at 2Seas — so hopefully that will change soon. And besides, I’m not going to let that minor detail derail my excitement about this project and this article!)
Tentatively entitled 100 Best Translations of the Century (So Far), the book will be a sort of guide to the most interesting books that have come out (in their original language) in the past fifteen years and are also available in English translations. We plan on including representatives from as many countries as possible, highlighting titles that appeal to us for one reason or another—this could be because of the book’s structure, it’s political import, or because it has a special connection to our lives.
As you can see in the article, we want this to be fun and personal; a book that’s smart but not elitist or drily academic. I personally want people to argue with our choices of what we decided to include. I also think that readers already immersed in the world of translated literature will discover new things in this—threads connecting works from disparate cultures, ideas from one book that are reflected in another, idiosyncratic juxtapositions that open up various titles.
In addition to these hundred entries, there will be longer framing essays about different topics in international literature: international poetry, crime fiction, women in translation, books from “smaller” languages, etc.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this article/sampler, which does unveil ten of the hundred books we will be including . . . .