Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Last night we attended the award for the Independent Foreign Fiction prize - Four Walls by Vangelis Hatziyannidis was one of the 'runner ups' to the winner, Arcadia's The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa. It was a wonderful ceremony, with champagne supplied by Taitinger. The event was crowded, full of journalists and people involved in the world of literary translation.

But as we left and the tall wooden doors of the National Portrait Gallery shut, I felt sad. Was this it for another year - the fleeting phenomenon of enthusiasm for books from other countries? If this was the Booker or the Orange, being the winner or on the short-list would make a major impact on sales, recognition, and a feeling of having made it somehow for the authors. But I just feel as if the fight to promote really interesting books from other languages has to be started all over again this morning.

In our next catalogue, I intend to devote the first few pages to profiles of the translators of our 2008 books in translation. It may not sound ground breaking, but it probably is.

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