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Posts Tagged ‘Gail Hareven’

Melville House Withdraws from Future Participation in Best Translated Book Awards

Citing the “predatory and thuggish practices” of Amazon, Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson has withdrawn his press from future participation in the Best Translated Book Awards. Last year the independent press won the fiction award for The Confessions of Noa Weber by Gail Hareven.

UPDATE: Award organizer Chad Post has responded to Melville House.

Last week news broke that Amazon.com will underwrite the Best Translated Book Awards, giving a $25,000 grant to the University of Rochester/Three Percent website to help fund the annual prize. “We must all hang together, or assuredly we will all hang separately,” explained Johnson in a passionate post about the award. What do you think?

Here’s more from the post: “[I]t’s clear to us that Amazon’s interests, and those of a healthy book culture, whether electronic or not, are antithetical. As most of us here at Melville House have also worked at indie bookstores — including such biggies as Booksoup, Shaman Drum, Brookline Booksmith and others — we feel this especially keenly: Taking money from Amazon is akin to the medical researchers who take money from cigarette companies.” (Via Publishers Lunch)

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Melville House and Ugly Duckling Writers Win Best Translated Book Awards

mhbwinner.pngLast night two independent presses won the 2010 Best Translated Book Awards, rising to the top of a shortlist drawn from an impressive collection of publishers.

Gail Hareven won the fiction award for The Confessions of Noa Weber, translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu and published by Melville House Press. Elena Fanailova won the poetry award for The Russian Version, translated from the Russian by Genya
Turovskaya
and Stephanie Sandler and published by Ugly Duckling Presse. The complete press release is embedded after the jump.

Here’s more from Melville House Press publisher Dennis Johnson: “[This fiction award] represents what we see as part of our mission at Melville House: Not just to publish both fiction and nonfiction in translation for the sake of essentially preserving it, as if it were something on the verge of going extinct. That strikes us as a way of further ensuring its obscurity. Rather, we see it as our mission to trumpet that work loudly, and to work aggressively to get that work in the hands of as many people as possible, especially those who would not normally encounter translated literature.”

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