Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Widen your reading horizons
A new website celebrates the privileged few foreign language writers who get translated into English

From Guy Dammann, Guardian blogger:

They say that literature broadens the mind. They (them again) also say that travel broadens the mind. In view of which, one may reasonably infer, an excellent way to broaden the mind must be to read literature in translation.

The British, though, find themselves sufficiently broad minded already, thank you very much. Compared to our continental neighbours' ravenous appetite for imported fiction, only 3% of the books published in this country were originally written in a language other than our own.
But as our friends at the Booktrust charity point out, 3% of the UK market still amounts to 3% of something like 100,000 books published. And that's something they think needs celebrating.

To which end they've created a new website. consists of news, specially commissioned features from readers and writers the world over, and recommendations on translated books both new and old.
Although only just getting going, the site is already full of life. Best of all, it's in English, and you don't need to go anywhere to read it.

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