Portland State University. Department of English
Translating and interpreting, Publishers and publishing
Enthusiastic readers both inside and outside the publishing industry have lamented the paucity of international literature translated into English. Despite the widely held belief that translated literature doesn’t sell, small presses and literary organizations have emerged over the past decade to take the lead in advocating for more translated literature and more recognition for those who, despite the near impossibility of making a living from their craft alone, continue to spill unfathomable hours into the pursuit of literary translation. In response to this advocacy, media coverage of translated literature has grown considerably, and it is increasingly common to see translations on lists of notable books; but the audience is still small, and publishers of translation are often forced seek additional funding from grants, embassies, and private donors to make their endeavor viable. For international literature to thrive instead of tenuously survive, publishers must explore new means of drawing together and building an audience for translation. Drawing on media coverage and industry panels over the past five years as well as the recent success of translated titles by Clarice Lispector, Valeria Luiselli, and Elena Ferrante, this paper will investigate the emerging visibility of translators and identify opportunities to harness and elevate that visibility in developing a readership for translated literature.
Burgess, Olenka, "Elevating the Translator: Next Steps in Promoting International Literature" (2016). Book Publishing Final Research Paper. 18.