By David Varno
Yesterday on the New Yorker's Book Bench, Elizabeth Clark Wessel served up a condensed version of the Quarterly Conversation's "Translate this Book", an incredible feature published earlier this month. As Wessel wrote, the list of recommended books from translators, writers, editors, and publishers (including several recommendations from editors at Words Without Borders "[is] a fascinating read in itself (even if it is sometimes frustrating to read about books that might never be attainable)."
European Fiction discussed in Wall Street Journal
Alexandra Alter's piece in the Wall Street Journal last Friday on the inaugural anthology Best European Fiction 2010, from Dalkey Archive, bares the facts on the percentage of world literature missed by American readers, but looks for hope (and maybe a little defiance against statements made by this year's Nobel Prize committee) from the book's editor Aleksandar Hemon:
"Mr. Hemon says he believes American readers are more adventurous than they're given credit for, and attributes his own success in part to American's willingness to read about other cultures."
The Dalkey anthology is a great companion to this year's Words Without Borders anthology, The Wall in My Head, comprised of work from Eastern Europe and published with Open Letter.
French American Translation Prizes
Submissions to the French American Translation Prizes, sponsored by the French American Foundation, are due on December 31, 2009. The Foundation will present a $10,000 cash award for the best English translation of French in both fiction and non-fiction.
Published Dec 16, 2009 Copyright 2009 David Varno