Thursday, January 14, 2010

Books in translation

by Jessica

This week’s New Yorker has a wonderful article on Arabic Literature: "Found in Translation" by Claudia Roth Pierpont. Since my time in Cairo was spent working on contemporary Arab fiction—I sold translation rights to books to American and international publishers, including many by authors cited in this piece—this is a subject close to my heart. Not long before this, A Public Space ran Bryan T. Edward's very smart piece on Cairo's young literati. Clearly, as I remarked to a colleague who acquires international fiction (one of a handful in the publishing industry), these articles presage a new commercial trend, one in which works in translation rocket right to the top of the bestseller lists, elbowing aside assorted tales of the undead.

Stranger things have happened.


  1. This list is EXACTLY what I needed...a week before Christmas. Fortunately, the person to whom I gave the first book of the Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mafouz will be interested in Arabic for a few more years, so I can use this list for the next gift giving occasion.

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