Earlier this week, I reported on a panel (on which I was a participant last week) sponsored by the NBCC called Book Reviews, Revamped. An observant audience member and writer for the international literature publication Words Without Borders picked up on a thread from the panel’s discussion, spurred by a question from another audience member, about why so little literature in translation is reviewed.
In his post, the writer, David Varno, rounds up the various panelists’ comments on literature in translation, including this especially interesting bit from Library Journal‘s Barbara Hoffert, in which she explains why more translated lit is popping up on library shelves.
Here’s more from Varno’s post:
Barbara Hoffert, editor of Library Journal‘s PrePub Alert, is covering more books than she used to, and much earlier than she used to, sometimes nine months in advance. Among the areas that she is able to give more coverage to is literature in translation, and she explained how libraries are able to expand the market for translated books because of novels like Stieg Larsson’s. Apparently, now that more readers are becoming comfortable with reading in translation, librarians are able to turn their patrons onto books from other authors who write in the language from which a very successful book originated.
So here’s today’s question–do you think the climate is better or worse for translated literature these days? Are you seeing more translated books? Are American readers more interested in reading them? Are e-books having any effect? We’d love to hear from you.