17 March 08 | Chad W. Post

In each of the past few posts about our 2008 Translation Database I’ve promised a complete copy of the current list . . . well finally, here’s an Excel version that you can download, manipulate, sort, etc., etc.

This current list is very incomplete. I haven’t received many summer/fall catalogs yet, and even so, there always seems to be a few titles that slip through the cracks and that I find out about via a reader, Publisher’s Weekly, Small Press Distribution, and a few other sources. I am absolutely sure that by the end of the year this will include another couple hundred titles . . .

In that vein, if any of you notice any titles missing, please post them in the comments, or e-mail me at chad.post at rochester dot edu.

And just to review the criteria: this list is only of original translations of adult fiction and poetry published in 2008. No children’s books, comic books, nonfiction, retranslations, or reprints. Not that these other categories aren’t worth paying attention to, it’s more of a time management issue. So only new, never-before translated titles.

I think it will be more interesting to analyze this at the end of the year (or in future years when one can look at trends), but two quick and dirty queries came up with some quasi-surprising results.

First of all, in terms of the most translated languages, here’s the top 10 (actually 11):

French: 26 titles (14.7% of total)
Spanish: 19 (10.7%)
Arabic: 17 (9.6%)
German: 16 (9.0%)
Russian: 12 (6.8%)
Italian: 8 (4.5%)
Hebrew: 7 (4.0%)
Chinese: 6 (3.4%)
Japanese: 6 (3.4%)
Portuguese: 6 (3.4%)
Swedish: 6 (3.4%)

I didn’t expect Arabic to be in front of German, but American University of Cairo Press is primarily responsible for this. One thing that’s clear—the major European languages (French, Spanish, German, Italian) dominate in terms of what’s published in English. These three languages account for 69 of the 177 titles identified, or approx. 39%.

In terms of who’s responsible for these translations, here’s the Top 8:

American University at Cairo: 9 titles
Europa Editions: 8
Dalkey Archive: 7
Melville House: 5
FSG: 5
Harcourt: 5
Penguin: 5
Archipelago: 5

There are 9 presses tied at 4 titles for the year, and 76 total presses identified so far. Which kind of surprised me. Granted, the majority are only doing a couple translations a year, but still, it’s good to know that such a wide range of publishers are bringing out works of international literature.

There are more breakdowns that could be done, but I’d really like to make sure the full list of titles is there first . . . otherwise the reports will be incredibly flawed. So please let me know if you know of anything that’s been published in the past few months or is on the horizon. And for those who are interested, we’ve written up capsule “reviews” of 54 of 177 titles on the list so far, all of which can be found here.


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The Odyssey
The Odyssey by Homer
Reviewed by Peter Constantine

Now goddess, child of Zeus,
tell the old story for our modern times.

–(The Odyssey, Book I, line 10. Emily Wilson)

In literary translation of works from other eras, there are always two basic tasks that a translator needs. . .

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I Remember Nightfall
I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio
Reviewed by Talia Franks

I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio (trans. From the Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas) is a bilingual poetry volume in four parts, consisting of the poems “The History of Violets,” “Magnolia,” “The War of the Orchards,” and “The Native. . .

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Joyce y las gallinas
Joyce y las gallinas by Anna Ballbona
Reviewed by Brendan Riley

This review was originally published as a report on the book at New Spanish Books, and has been reprinted here with permission of the reviewer. The book was originally published in the Catalan by Anagrama as Joyce i les. . .

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Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
Reviewed by Kaija Straumanis

Hello and greetings in the 2017 holiday season!

For those of you still looking for something to gift a friend or family member this winter season, or if you’re on the lookout for something to gift in the. . .

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The Size of the World
The Size of the World by Branko Anđić
Reviewed by Jaimie Lau

Three generations of men—a storyteller, his father and his son—encompass this book’s world. . . . it is a world of historical confusion, illusion, and hope of three generations of Belgraders.

The first and last sentences of the first. . .

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Island of Point Nemo
Island of Point Nemo by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
Reviewed by Katherine Rucker

The Island of Point Nemo is a novel tour by plane, train, automobile, blimp, horse, and submarine through a world that I can only hope is what Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès’s psyche looks like, giant squids and all.

What. . .

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The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

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I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

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Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

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The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

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