I am pleased to be part of the new 5 Books from Croatia project which launched today at this year’s London Book Fair. I gave an interview to the author Andrea Pisac, vice-president of the Croatian Writers’ Association, who is leading the Croatian team at LBF this year. According to the blurb, 5 Books from Croatia is
a new push to promote Croatian literature in a more methodical and transparent way. ‘Small’ literatures have always been less visible in the English-speaking world, trailing behind translations from German,French and Spanish. To date, English editions of Croatian authors have been the result of individual endeavours and the passion of a small number of translators and publishers with a special interest in translated literature. But while ‘big’ languages have a tradition of systematically promoting books, such as the leading publications 10 Books from Holland and New Books in German, Croatian literature is still terra incognita to most publishers, editors and the broad reading public. This is hardly surprising because well-translated, representative excerpts from the best Croatian titles are neither cheap nor easy to come by. That is why we have decided to launch 5 Books from Croatia – a publication with a clear editorial conception that once per year will present four contemporary authors and one classic, a ‘forgotten gem’.
I was pleased to see that my interview on ‘the social life of translated literature’ has been subtitled ‘the vital role of collaborations, literary friendships and informal conversations while queueing for coffee.’
5 Books from Croatia also includes useful information about the various Croatian literature festivals. I just had a first sight of the book, and it looks great, so if you are going to the book fair—LBF—do look out for Andrea and the Croatian team on stand 5C131, and get yourself a copy.