18 June 07 | Chad W. Post

I’m still sorting through the piles of catalogs, galleys, and other promotional material I picked up at BookExpo America a couple of weeks ago, and in so doing I came across the Spring issue of The Literary Review, which happens to be devoted to the recently launched French Voices program.

As Esther Allen explains in her introduction:

French Voices [. . .] was founded two years ago by Fabrice Rozie, the Literary Attache at the French Cultural Services in New York, to ensure that the most important books written in French since 2000 would successfully make the increasingly difficult journey from French into English.

Titles in the program are selected by a very distinguished committee who, over the next three years, will identify 30 books to include in the program. Any translator, publisher, author, or critic interested in recommending a book can do so via the French Book News website.

To make this program work, publishers doing these books will receive $6,000 in support to partially offset the costs associated with publishing translations. (From a business perspective, this could be higher, and it would be great if some foundation would match this grant and provide an additional $6,000 just to cover marketing costs.)

The Spring issue of TLR includes excerpts of the first 7 books selected for the program:

Ravel by Jean Echenoz (The New Press)

Dark Heart of the Night by Leonora Miano (University of Nebraska Press)

Kick the Animal Out by Veronique Ovalde (MacAdam/Cage)

In the United States of Africa by Abdourahman A. Waberi (University of Nebraska Press)

The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by Andre Comte-Sponville (Penguin)

Origins by Amin Maalouf (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

by Malika Zeghal (Mark Weiner Publishers)

Excerpts of Ravel and Kick the Animal Out are available on the TLR website.

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