Despatches

02Oct07
  • My despatch-riders have been notably inactive of late, I notice. I suspect them of bunking off somewhere, probably reading. However, I thought I’d plug a ‘Fiction in Translation’ event taking place at Waterstone’s, Hampstead on the 24th October. The event features Lisa Appignanesi talking to Len Rix (translator of Hungarian novelists Antal Szerb – Journey by Moonlight, The Pendragon Legend and Oliver VII -and Magda Szabó -The Door) and Patrick Camiller (translator of contemporary Romanian novelist Dumitru Tsepeneag’s Vain Art of the Fugue) about their recent work. Details are on the Waterstone’s website. [Thanks, Pete Law!]
  • It was this interview with Angolan novelist José Eduardo Agualusa at the very wonderful Words Without Borders that sent me rushing out to buy The Book of Chameleons. His comment on winning the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is chastening, to say the least:

    It’s a prize for translation in a country where, like in the U.S., people don’t read much translation. While in most European countries half of the books come from other languages, in England this share is less than two percent. Important writers from around the world are unknown to English readers. It’s almost like another planet.

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