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Translated Lit

Nobel Prize Winner Patrick Modiano Inks Deal With Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Patrick ModianoHoughton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) will publish an English language edition of Patrick Modiano’s latest novel. Gallimard, Modiano’s publisher in France, released the book back in October 2014 and it has become a bestseller.

HMH has scheduled a publication date for So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood in late 2015. Bruce Nichols, the company’s general interest publisher, negotiated the deal with literary agent Georges Borchardt (who represented Gallimard).

According to the announcement, Euan Cameron has signed on to serve as the translator for this project. The book “is a haunting novel of suspense, in which a single, unexpected phone call to a man living quietly in Paris launches a chain of menacing encounters and events, unlocking a dark secret he had erased from memory.”

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HarperCollins Publishes a Bilingual Edition of ‘Goodnight Moon’

Goodnight Moon - First Book bilingual edition - front jacket coverHarperCollins has released the first-ever bilingual version of Goodnight Moon.

Goodnight Moon/Buenas Noches, Luna, an English-Spanish board book, has been made available on the First Book digital marketplace at a discounted price for educators and programs serving children in need. The executives at the publishing house were inspired by First Book’s Stories for All Project to create this special edition of Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd’s beloved picture book. The mission behind this project is to address the lack of diversity in children’s books.

Rhian Evans Allvin, the executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, had this statement in the press release: ”Having a treasured book like Goodnight Moon available as a bilingual edition means so much more than just making a classic bedtime story more accessible. This creates opportunities for very young English language learners to enjoy a cozy story time in their native and learned languages and to create a culture of reading in classrooms and homes. It is also a sign of respect: that we value ALL of our children and families.”

Shakespeare’s Works To Be Translated Into Mandarin

shakespeareThe British government plans to give £1.5 million (approximately $2.4 million) to the Royal Shakespeare Company. The organization has agreed to translate all of William Shakespeare’s writings into Mandarin.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “The grant, announced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, will finance a company tour of China in 2016 and allow for select Chinese dramatic works to be translated into English. In bringing Shakespeare’s canon of plays to readers, directors and actors in China, the government hopes to forge ‘stronger links with China,’ according to a statement by Sajid Javid, the British culture secretary.”

Throughout the last four hundred years, Shakespeare’s works have been translated into more than 80 different languages. What do you think?

Haruki Murakami’s First Two Novels Are Coming in New English Translation

file.ashxHear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973, the first two novels written by acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami, are getting being published in English. The two novellas were first published in English by Kodansha International in 1987, but are currently out of print.

Knopf will publish these two novellas in one volume in the fall 2015. The works will feature a new English translation by Ted Goosen.

Knopf recently released Murakami’s latest novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage last month and will publish his upcoming novella The Strange Library in December.

New Haruki Murakami Short Story Featured in ‘The New Yorker’

murakami

World renowned novelist Haruki Murakami has written a new short story entitled “Yesterday.”

Japanese literature expert Philip Gabriel served as the translator. The New Yorker has published it in their new Summer Fiction issue; thus far it has attracted 295 “favorites” on Twitter.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece: ”As far as I know, the only person ever to put Japanese lyrics to the Beatles song ‘Yesterday’ (and to do so in the distinctive Kansai dialect, no less) was a guy named Kitaru. He used to belt out his own version when he was taking a bath.” (via NPR)

Why Haruki Murakami Translated ‘The Great Gatsby’

The great Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami once translated The Great Gatsby for Japanese readers. In Columbia University Press’ In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means anthology, you can read an essay he wrote about translating the book.

We’ve embedded the complete essay below. Murakami expressed his love for the novel, but also gave readers a peek into how he used his “imaginative powers as a novelist into play.” Just in time for the upcoming movie adaptation, read his thoughts about F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s novel. Here is an excerpt:

When someone asks, “Which three books have meant the most to you?” I can answer without having to think: The Great GatsbyFyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. All three have been indispensable to me (both as a reader and as a writer); yet if I were forced to select only one, I would unhesitatingly choose Gatsby. Had it not been for Fitzgerald’s novel, I would not be writing the kind of literature I am today (indeed, it is possible that I would not be writing at all, although that is neither here nor there) … Though slender in size for a full-length work, it served as a standard and a fixed point, an axis around which I was able to organize the many coordinates that make up the world of the novel.

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Finnish Translator Only Gets Three Weeks to Work on J.K. Rowling Novel

Otava, the Finnish publisher of J.K. Rowling‘s adult novel The Casual Vacancy, will only give the translator three weeks to work on the project. On top of this deadline, the translator will not be able to read the book prior to the English version’s September 27th release.

Translator Jill Timbers wrote a guest post on the blog Intralingo protesting Otava’s decisions. The Finnish publisher plans to make its version available in time for the Christmas shopping season. They also hope to thwart Finnish readers from purchasing the English edition.

According to Three Percent, Jaana Kapari (who translated the Harry Potter series from English to Finnish) refused to take on this project due to Otava’s strict constraints.

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Saddam Hussein’s Daughter Hopes to Publish His Handwritten Memoir

Saddam Hussein‘s eldest daughter, Raghad Saddam Hussein, hopes to publish her late father’s memoir.

According to her attorney, the former Iraqi dictator wrote the book by hand. As an author, Hussein published several poems and four novels including Zabibah and the King, The Fortified Castle, Men and the City and Begone, Demons.

Here’s more from Al Arabiya: “It is noteworthy that lawyer Khalil al-Delimi, head of Saddam Hussein’s defense team, released in October 2009 a 480-page book under the title Saddam Hussein from the American Cell: What Really Happened. The book, written in Arabic, was based on dozens of interviews Delimi conducted with the late president while he was detained by the American occupation prior to his trial and execution. The book also includes poems and letters written by Saddam Hussein. ‘”

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Wiesław Mysliwski Wins Best Translated Book Award for Fiction

Wiesław Mysliwski’s Stone Upon Stone (translated by Bill Johnston) has won the Best Translated Book Award for fiction. The poetry prize went to Kiwao Nomura’s Spectacle & Pigsty translated by Kyoko Yoshida and Forrest Gander)

The annual award is offered by Three Percent at the University of Rochester, honoring “the best original works of international literature and poetry published in the U.S. over the previous year.” The winning translators and writers will share a $20,000 award donated by Amazon.

Here’s more about Mysliwski’s novel: “Stone Upon Stone—his first work to be translated into English—is narrated by Syzmek, a Polish farmer determined to build a tomb for himself after a life of boozing, brawling, fighting in the resistance, serving as a marriage officer, and exaggerating his way through the twentieth century and the modernization of his small town … This is the second book published by Archipelago, the Brooklyn-based nonprofit press, to win the award. (Attila Bartis’s Tranquility won in 2009.)”

2011 Best Translated Book Award Winners Revealed

The winners of this year’s Best Translated Book Awards have been revealed. Writers and translators will each receive $5000 as prize money.

Aleš Šteger’s Slovenian collection, The Book of Things, won in the poetry category; Brian Henry served as translator. Tove Jansson’s Swedish novel, The True Deceiver, won in the fiction category; Thomas Teal served as translator.

According to Publishing Perspectives: This awards ceremony was held as a part of the PEN World Voices Festival. The awards’ co-founder Chad W. Post had this statement in the press release: “This festival is the premiere festival for international literature taking place in America today. And by highlighting two fantastic works of translated literature, the BTBA adds something special to the week-long festivities.”

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