12 August 08 | Chad W. Post

It’s been a couple months since I last posted an update to the 2008 Translation Database, and since we have added a number of titles (thanks as always to Michael Orthofer, PW, and all the publishers who send us copies of their catalogs) it seemed like a good time to post an updated Excel file.

The Excel file linked to above is a bit different from the ones I posted in the past. It still contains all the information about every original translation of adult fiction and poetry coming out this year (excluding all reprints and retranslations) and breaks this info down by publisher, language, and country.

This time I added a few spreadsheets though, sorting the data by month and genre (fiction vs. poetry), and breaking down the publishers into top publishers of fiction and top publishers of poetry.

Looking at the breakdown by month, it’s interesting to note that almost every month falls into the 25-30 title range, the major exceptions being April (38, due in part to National Poetry Month and the rush to bring out all books of poetry then), and July and August (15 and 14 respectively, hopefully because summer publishing schedules are slow and not because I missed a bunch of books). Using that 25-30 range as a basis, I’m guessing that I’m missing approximately 20 December titles and that I wouldn’t be surprised if the final count of translations published in 2008 is closer to 325 that the 400 I predicted early on.

At the moment, almost 20% of all the translations published are works of poetry (most of which are published by Green Integer, Copper Canyon, FSG, Ugly Duckling Presse, and Zephyr).

Looking at this breakdown between fiction and poetry, and the overall low number of translations being published, it seems almost possible that one could read all original translations as they come out . . . I personally couldn’t do this, but I can envision someone reading basically a book a day for a year and reading all the new translations.

As always if you see anything missing from the master list, please let me know and I’ll add it right away.


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The Antiquarian
The Antiquarian by Gustavo Faverón Patriau
Reviewed by P.T. Smith

Gustavo Faverón Patriau’s The Antiquarian, translated by Joseph Mulligan, is a genre-blending novel, a complete immersion that delves into a lesser-used niche of genre: horror, gothic, the weird. There are visual horrors, psychological ones, and dark corners with threats lurking.. . .

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Elsewhere
Elsewhere by Eliot Weingerber (ed.)
Reviewed by Grant Barber

What a wonderful, idiosyncratic book Weinberger has written. I say book, but the closest comparison I could make to other works being published right now are from Sylph Edition’s “Cahiers Series“—short pamphlet-like meditations by notable writers such as Ann Carson,. . .

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The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly
The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang
Reviewed by Chris Iacono

Early in Sun-mi Hwang’s novel The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, the main character, a hen named Sprout, learns about sacrifice. After refusing to lay any more eggs for the farmer who owns her, she becomes “culled” and released. . .

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Sankya
Sankya by Zakhar Prilepin
Reviewed by Kseniya Melnik

When Sankya was published in Russia in 2006, it became a sensation. It won the Yasnaya Polyana Award (bestowed by direct descendants of Leo Tolstoy) and was shortlisted for the Russian Booker and the National Bestseller Award. Every member of. . .

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Stalin is Dead
Stalin is Dead by Rachel Shihor
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Stalin is Dead by Rachel Shihor has been repeatedly described as kafkaesque, which strikes a chord in many individuals, causing them to run to the bookstore in the middle of the night to be consumed by surreal situations that no. . .

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Paradises
Paradises by Iosi Havilio
Reviewed by Andrea Reece

Paradises by cult Argentinian author Iosi Havilio is the continuation of his earlier novel, Open Door, and tells the story of our narrator, a young, unnamed Argentinian woman.

The very first sentence in Paradises echoes the opening of Camus’s The Outsider. . .

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Two Crocodiles
Two Crocodiles by Fyodor Dostoevsky; Felisberto Hernández
Reviewed by Sara Shuman

This pearl from New Directions contains one short story from Russian literary master Fyodor Dostoevsky (translated by Constance Garnett) and one short story from Uruguayan forefather of magical realism Felisberto Hernández (translated by Esther Allen). Both pieces are entitled “The. . .

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Navidad & Matanza
Navidad & Matanza by Carlos Labbé
Reviewed by J.T. Mahany

I’m talking about pathological individuals; six twisted people taking part in an unpredictable game.

Carlos Labbé’s Navidad & Matanza is the story of two missing children and the journalist trying to find them. Actually. it’s the story of a group of. . .

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Zbinden's Progress
Zbinden's Progress by Christoph Simon
Reviewed by Emily Davis

For Lukas Zbinden, walking is a way of life. At eighty-seven, he is still an avid walker and insists on going for walks outside as often as possible, rain or snow or shine. Now that he lives in an assisted. . .

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Commentary
Commentary by Marcelle Sauvageot
Reviewed by Peter Biello

Commentary is a book that defies simple categorization. Marcelle Sauvageot’s prose lives in the world of novel, memoir, and philosophical monologue as the narrator, a woman recuperating in a sanatorium, muses on the nature of love and examines her own. . .

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