If seeing the sun through your office window is giving you itchy feet we can help by kick-starting your world travels (in a literary sense, not literally).
We recently came across this wonderful TED talk from writer Ann Morgan, recalling her experience reading a book from every single country in just one year. Morgan was inspired to set herself the challenge after noticing the almost complete dominance of English language books, from English-speaking countries, on her bookshelves.
She sourced her reading material using recommendations from locals, in some special cases it even being translated by volunteers purely for the project. Morgan said, ‘it’s incredible the breadth of perspective you get’.
This resultant guide gives details of all the 196 books—or unpublished translations where nothing else was available—she read, to allow others to follow her journey.
And luckily for us, and you, there’s a new press in town which is going to add even more amazing translations to this impressive reading list.
Titled Axis Press are, in their own words because they say it best, ‘a not-for profit press on a mission to shake up contemporary international literature. Tilted Axis publishes the books that might not otherwise make it into English, for the very reasons that make them exciting to us – artistic originality, radical vision, the sense that here is something new’.
Deborah Smith, Publisher and Editor at Titled Axis, is the talented translator that bought Han Kang’s now Man Booker International Prize shortlisted ‘The Vegetarian’ to English readers.
Deborah specialises in Korean, but we can also expect Indian, Indonesian and Uzbek translations from Tilted Axis Press in the near future. Their focus on Asian literature will nicely supplement the already brilliant work on European translations being done by Peirene Press.
We were lucky enough to catch Deborah Smith talking about ‘The Vegetarian’ at Burley Fisher Bookshop in Haggerston (watch this space for the ‘Bookshops we love’ feature!), and have every faith that Tilted Axis is going to be something special.