Most of us in the translation and publishing industry have heard of Ann Morgan and her Reading the World project. In 2012, she read 196 books in translation, one from each independent country in the world: one book from Swaziland, one from Argentina, and so on. Her initiative received much praise and attention.
Last week, she wrote an article for the Financial Times reporting that the amount of foreign literature translated into English is about 4.5% (slightly more than the often quoted 3%). Morgan states that it’s still difficult to track the development of book translations, but that it’s a promising sign that a relatively high number of foreign authors such as Jo Nesbo (Norway) and Elena Ferrante (Italy) are bestsellers in Anglophone countries.
We’ll continue to follow Ann Morgan’s work, and if you’re interested in reading translations, here’s Ann’s top ten:
Albania – Ismail Kadare Broken April
Canada – Nicole Brossard Mauve Desert
Czech Republic – Bohumil Hrabal Too Loud a Solitude
Mongolia – Galsan Tschinag The Blue Sky
Myanmar – Nu Nu Yi Smile as they Bow
Pakistan – Jamil Ahmad The Wandering Falcon
Serbia – Srdjan Valjarevic Lake Como (limited availability)
Sierra Leone – Ismael Beah A Long Way Gone
Tajikistan – Andrei Volos Hurramabad
Togo – Tete-Michel Kpomassie An African in Greenland
See more about Ann Morgan’s project here:
In the U.S., Ann Morgan’s book The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe will be available in May 2015.