Translated literature for the new year

This year looks like continuing the success of translated fiction. In the mainstream, Jo Nesbø has picked up the baton of Stieg Larsson with his Harry Hole books going from strength to strength including the announcement of a film to be directed by Martin Scorsese.

Meanwhile, the new year has brought a crop of online excerpts and short stories translated from Arabic to English via the Arabic Literature blog. Works include a short excerpt of Kamel Riahi’s al-Ghurila (The Gorilla), poems from Hussein Habasch and Joyce Mansour and a short story inspired by the Egyptian revolution from Hamdy El-Gazzar. The Arab Spring and its repercussions are also a dominant theme at the Beirut Book Fair.

The European Society of Authors is continuing to promote their annual “Finnegan’s List” in which well-known polyglot writers are asked to recommend titles by other writers deserving of wider translation. London author Adam Thirlwell gets one of the nominations. A PDF of the full list is available for download: Finnegan’s List [pdf].

One European author to obtain wider translation is Spaniard Javier Marías with seven titles from his backlist being translated into English at least, having been signed up by Penguin Modern Classics. The titles, which are all to be published at the beginning of August 2012, are All Souls, A Heart So White, Tomorrow in the Battle Think On Me, Dark Back of Time, When I was Mortal, The Man of Feeling and Written Lives.