Small presses growing translated fiction's readership

Innovative and energetic publishers such as And Other Stories and Dalkey Archive are finding new routes to a committed audience"We were dreaming of freedom; we woke up in capitalism," is Slovenian writer Drago Jančar's wry comment at the launch of Dalkey Archive's anthology of short stories, Best European Fiction 2014 (#BEF14)."Yes, we have freedom now," says fellow writer Tõnu Õnnepalu, speaking in English (he also writes in French as well as his native Estonian), but he sounds a little puzzled. No wonder. The reaction of authors from former Soviet countries throws into relief a complex situation British publishing knows only too well. "The problem," says Meike Ziervogel, of award-winning European novella publisher, Peirene Press, "is one of overcrowding. There are far too many books on the UK market. So any book that does not win one of the few literary prizes or catches the popular imagination struggles to find readers." Stefan Tobler, publisher of translation-focused And Other Stories, and a translator himself, adds, "a writer who not only hasn't been published in English before, but doesn't have friends in the Anglophone literary world and maybe doesn't even speak English, will have a few challenges." In the UK, authors sell books through presence: readings, appearances. It's no longer enough to write.Due to the healthy state of Anglophone writing, the UK is not an easy market for translation, but Matthew Reynolds, who chairs the Oxford-Weidenfeld translation... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2014-01-23 00:00:00 UTC ]
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