Saturday, December 26, 2009

Open Letters--Small Publishing of Big Translations

Speaking of today's New York Times Arts section, there was a long lovely article on a small, year-old press called Open Letter Books that does nothing BUT translation. The press, affiliated with the University of Rochester in New York, publishes 10-12 books a year and has an online literary website called Three Percent. Get it, 3%? Because translations account for only about 3% of the US book market.

Open Letter's list includes authors from all over the world--South Africa, Chile, Spain, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, France, region seems excluded and though there are no Middle Eastern or Asian writers, I'm sure we'll see representation as the publishing house evolves. Right? The concentration so far has also been largely fiction and essays, though they said to expect some poetry soon. I'm looking forward to that as well.

Anyway, for $100 you can receive all 10 of a year's publications, which seems a pretty good deal though given how much is already begging to be read on my shelves, I'm not sure I want to add to my pile without a thorough perusal. Their books DO have beautiful covers, so perhaps just looking at them might be worth the investment.

Check it out and kudos to what seems a really fascinating press.

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