Open Letter Books to Receive $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Rochester, NY—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $40,000 to Open Letter Books for the publication of six works of international literature. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as Open Letter Books, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

“It’s always an honor to receive a National Endowment for the Arts grant,” said Open Letter publisher Chad W. Post. “Their support goes a long way in helping us to make these amazing works of international literature available to an English-reading audience. Thanks to the NEA, readers have access to far more voices from around the world than they otherwise would. This support allows us to take more risks, both in terms of acquiring titles and in the sorts of promotions we’re able to undertake for these books.”

The six titles included in this grant are The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán, translated by Will Vanderhyden (Argentina); The Brahmadells by Jóanes Nielsen, translated by Kerri A. Pierce (Faroe Islands); Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller by Gudbergur Bergsson, translated by Lytton Smith (Iceland); Her Mother’s Mother’s Mother and Her Daughters by Maria José Silveira, translated by Eric M. Becker (Brazil); The Island of Point Nemo by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès, translated by Hannah Chute (France); and The Owls’ Absence by Bae Suah, translated by Deborah Smith (South Korea).

All these books will be published in 2017, and several of the authors will tour the United States in support of their books. These titles—as well as the rest of the Open Letter backlist—are available at better bookstores everywhere, and through the press’s website.

Open Letter was established in 2007 at the University of Rochester to support the university’s literary translation programs, and to publish a line of high quality, lasting literature in translation. In addition to publishing ten works of international literature every year, the press runs the Three Percent website, which is home to the world’s only Translation Database and the Best Translated Book Awards. Additionally, the press organizes the Reading the World Conversation Series, which brings renowned authors and translators to Rochester for an evening of conversation.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, click here.

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