Former Open Letter senior editor, E.J. Van Lanen, announced yesterday that he’s started a publishing house dedicated to doing e-versions of international literature. As you can see in the press release below, the first titles—Anna Kim’s The Anatomy of a Night and Uwe Tellkamp’s The Tower—will be available in the spring of 2013.
This is a really cool idea, and I hope it not only gains a lot of traction and readers, but expands rapidly to include many more partnerships and titles.
Frisch & Co. Launches International E-Book Publisher, Partners with Germany’s Suhrkamp Verlag
BERLIN/NEW YORK, October 2012—Frisch & Co. today announced the launch of its e-book publishing program, which will publish contemporary foreign fiction in English-language translation for e-book reading devices. For its initial titles, Frisch & Co. is partnering with Berlin-based Suhrkamp Verlag—venerable publisher of Hermann Hesse, Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, and many other modern German-language luminaries. The companies will collaborate to select and publish two new titles from Suhrkamp’s list each year. Frisch & Co. is currently seeking partners in other countries.
Frisch & Co.’s first two titles are Anna Kim’s haunting and poetic novel The Anatomy of a Night and Uwe Tellkamp’s award-winning epic The Tower. Both titles will be released for the first time in English in late-Spring 2013 and will be available through online e-book retailers and on Frisch & Co.’s website.
“There are so many truly fascinating stories, and great writers, that English-only readers simply don’t have the opportunity to discover,” said E.J. Van Lanen, Publisher and former Editor and co-founder of Open Letter Books. “The goal of Frisch & Co’s publishing program is to share some of these stories, and we’re trying to reach readers where they increasingly are: on their tablets, phones, and e-book readers.”
The Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates that 25% of American adults currently own a tablet device, and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) estimate U.S. trade publisher e-book revenues of $1.97 billion (or 16% of total trade dollars) for 2011, up from $838 million and 6.7% in 2010. Adult fiction currently comprises 31% of sales within the category. With its list of prominent and emerging international authors from prestigious international publishers, its single-minded focus on the e-book category, and competitive pricing, Frisch & Co. is well-positioned to benefit from these trends.
“I’m really thrilled about this project,” said Nora Mercurio, Rights Manager at Suhrkamp Verlag, “since in my eyes it represents the perfect merger of the important values Suhrkamp stands for—tradition, high literary quality, the preference of stable partnership over one-time licensing, and an open-mindedness about the future, in this case digitalization.”
In addition to publishing its books through major online retailers, Frisch & Co. will sell its e-books in DRM-free .epub format on its website.
About the books:
Translated into fifteen languages, Uwe Tellkamp’s bestselling The Tower won the 2008 Deutscher Buchpreis—awarded annually to the best German-language novel—the Deutscher Nationalpreis (2009), and the Literaturpreis der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (2009). The Tower paints an epic panorama of the waning days of the German Democratic Republic.
Suicide is spreading like an epidemic in Anna Kim’s third novel, The Anatomy of a Night, which follows the twists and turns of eleven people’s lives in a poor and largely isolated village in the eastern part of Greenland. Precisely observed and beautifully written, The Anatomy of a Night announces a major new voice in German literature.
For more information on Frisch & Co., visit its website, or contact E.J. Van Lanen (vanlanen [at] frischand.co).
Though far from the most convincing reason to read literature in translation, one common side effect is learning of another culture, of its history. Within that, and a stronger motivation to read, is the discovery of stories not possible within. . .
Despite cries that literature is dead, dying, and self-replicating in the worst way, once in a while a book comes along to remind readers that there’s still a lot of surprise to be found on the printed page. To be. . .
“I was small. And my village was small, I came to know that in time. But when I was small it was big for me, so big that when I had to cross it from one end to the other,. . .
A few weeks after moving into a farm house in the Welsh countryside, Emilie, an expatriate from the Netherlands, starts to think about her uncle. This uncle tried to drown himself in a pond in front of the hotel where. . .
Think back to the last adventure- or action-type book you read. Wasn’t it cool? Didn’t it make you want to do things, like learn to shoot a crossbow, hack complicated information systems, travel to strange worlds, take on knife-wielding thugs,. . .
In Aira’s Shantytown, while we’re inside the characters’ heads for a good portion of the story, the voice we read on the page is really that of Aira himself, as he works out the plot of the book he’s writing.. . .
Noir is not an easy genre to define—or if it once was, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away; as a quick guess, maybe Silver Lake, Los Angeles, 1935. When two books as different as. . .
Some time ago I read this phrase: “The page is the only place in the universe God left blank for me.”
Pedro Mairal’s short novel The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra is more about these blank spaces than the usual full. . .
“What if even in the afterlife you have to know foreign languages? Since I have already suffered so much trying to speak Danish, make sure to assign me to the Polish zone . . .”
So reads a typical aphoristic “poem”. . .
If you somehow managed to overlook the 2012 translation of Andrés Neuman’s breathtaking Traveler of the Century (and woe betide all whom continue to do so), you now have two exceptional works of fiction from the young Argentine virtuoso demanding. . .