Monday, August 13, 2007

So last Tuesday we got a call from a bubbly person at Colman Getty PR firm asking whther we were planning on going to a meeting that we had been invited to a few weeks ago. seeing as that particular Tuesday was also the day when the Booker longlist was announced and that particular PR firm is the one that organizes the Man Booker prize , I said yes, I could probably make it. In spite of the resulting disappointment that evening, I ended up going to that meeting.

I found myself there because fate transpired to put me at another meeting just around the corner from The Groucho Club, meeting one of our forthcoming translators, Frank Wynne, to do an interview for the new catalogue. Frank's story is fairly rare in the world of translation because his story - although full of frustrations - is actually rather successful. You see Frank was the translator of a littleknownFrenchwriterwhoisnownotsolittleknown: Michel Houllebecq. For us, he's doing Banquet of Lies by Amin Zaoui (web page to follow shortly didn't know that it wasn't up already) and the interview went excellently. It'll be available to read soon enough I think. Unfortunately it went so excellently that I ended half an hour late for the Booker thing. Which was the first point that set me apart from the rest of the publishers. The second was probably my hat. The third was that I was not from a publisher whose book had been nominated for the Booker longlist. Not that it wasn't fascinating; the chief concern amongst the publishers was whether their book would be nominated for the shortlist and if so could they please know in advance (No). Afterwards I found time to (trapped by a waiter who refilled my glass five times in fifteen minutes even though I was too bamboozled to touch the first) talk to a few people before shuffling off as discreetly as possible. Still though, it was a good to be in such company, a pleasure to be invited and we'll hope to be there again next year ...

In other news I note through Chekhov's Mistress that there's a piece on Witold Gombrowicz in the new Dalkey Archive Press issue of Context .


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