11 November 08 | Chad W. Post

This year’s Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing was given to Jill Schoolman of Archipelago Books, a good friend, fantastic publisher, and energetic advocate for international literature. She truly deserves this award and all the accolades that Marianne Bohr included in her introduction:

This year’s winner, Jill Schoolman, publisher of Archipelago Books, a not-for-profit press operating out of Brooklyn, has devoted herself to publishing first-edition English translations of innovative works of classic and contemporary world literature, vital voices that deserve to be heard and that she believes English speakers should not have to live without. Her list includes a diverse group of international writers whose titles she hopes will help promote America’s awareness of other cultures.

As most of us are sadly aware, as more and more publishers focus on the almighty blockbuster, there are very few avenues for getting works in translation to see the light of day in the U.S. It was against the backdrop of this stark reality that Jill started Archipelago—it was because she saw an urgent need and believed that American readers are hungry to know what people are writing about and thinking about beyond our borders. And I am very happy to report that the press has acknowledged Jill’s efforts and Archipelago Books with some excellent coverage and stellar reviews.

In the words of National Book Network’s president, Jed Lyons, “Miriam Bass appreciated creativity in people, especially when it was in service to the book business. Miriam would have heartily approved of the selection of Jill Schoolman, one of the most dedicated and creative people in publishing today, to win this award.”

I’m sure everyone reading this blog is familiar with Archipelago Books, they do so many interesting translations, and in such beautiful editions. Personally, I’m really looking forward to reading Attila Bartis’s Tranquility, in part because of Jeff Waxman’s stellar review, but also because I’ve been hearing great things about this book from booksellers and other reviewers across the country.

Once again, congrats to Jill Schoolman, and I hope she keeps up the good work.

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