18 July 08 | Chad W. Post

This is actually old news—like more than a year old—but thanks to Bragi Olafsson I just found out about Comma Press’s Short Fiction in Translation program.

Thanks to funding from the European Culture Programme, ‘Culture 2007’ and Arts Council England, the new imprint will include four collections a year, plus an annual anthology of stories showcasing a cross-section of stories from around Europe and the Middle East. [. . .]

The aim of the imprint will be to explore both the short story’s family resemblances and its idiosyncrasies across cultures, whilst benefiting from its unique cultural ‘moveability’. As a form grounded in the fleeting, the momentary and the singular, the short story lends itself as well as any literary form to translation, being rooted – despite its modern reinventions – in the mobility of the oral tradition. Comma Translation will be committed to developing a resolutely contemporary list from the outset, with the aim of keeping the cultural exchange fresh, vital and relevant. All publications will be accompanied by author tours, discussions and innovative live readings (with authors reading in the original against projected English subtitles).

Three of the anthologies are already available, and the first four short story collections are just now coming out:

  • I Love You When I’m Drunk by Empar Moliner (translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush) – Jun 08
  • Long Days by Maike Wetzel (translated from the German by Lyn Marven) – Jun 08
  • Amuse-Bouche by Arnon Grunberg (translated from the Dutch by Lisa Friedman) – Aug 08
  • Stonetree by Gyrdir Eliasson (translated from the Icelandic by Brian Fitzgibbon) – Aug 08

All of these are listed on Amazon UK, and hopefully once a title is released, you’ll be able to order it directly from the Comma Press website. (Of course, right now, none of the titles are included on Comma’s “full list” of books . . . But, you know, publishers and websites—never a great combination.)

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