Foreign Literature

Topics: Translation, Novel, Literature Pages: 1 (363 words) Published: August 6, 2013
Last night I was at the presentation of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, at the National Portrait Gallery, where a young Angolan writer, José Eduardo Agualusa, was announced the 2007 winner for his novel The Book of Chameleons, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. Set in contemporary Angola, the book is particularly notable for being narrated by a lizard. The judges this year were the poet David Constantine, writer and editor Jennie Erdal, Arts Council Literature officer Kate Griffin, novelist Ali Smith and the literary editor of the Independent, Boyd Tonkin. Admirably the prize is shared between the translator and author, thus honouring an art that often goes unsung. The book was evidently a popular choice and Agualusa received his award in person, accompanied by whoops and cheers. Tonkin extols the prize as "a unique bridge between writers abroad and readers at home". As thrilled as I was that this talented newcomer beat such literary heavyweights as Ismail Kadare and Javier Marías, however, I was even more delighted that the award honours a small literary publisher, Arcadia, who recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. The dedicated team at Arcadia are worthy recipients of this prestigious award, not just for bringing this imaginative young writer to an English readership, but overall for their championing of cultural diversity and for widening our literary choice - 50% of their 2007 lists are books in translation. Given the effects of globalisation elsewhere, it seems astonishing that we don't translate more foreign literature in this country. Apparently, translated fiction accounts for only 3% of fiction sales in the UK, compared with 30-40% in France or Spain. The British are voracious readers, so why are we so insular? Don't we welcome unusual voices and different perspectives? How can we exert pressure on publishers to produce more translated fiction? For those interested in foreign literature, an excellent resource is Words Without...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Literature Essay
  • Literature Essay
  • Literature Essay
  • Essay on literature
  • Art, Literature, and the Carriers of Civilization Research Paper
  • Discussing Literature and Government CA Essay
  • Caribbean Literature Essay
  • African Literature Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer | Corel Roxio Creator NXT Pro 6 | Lloyd in Space (39)