The beginning of an important, thoughtful, and often maddening conversation by Asymptote journal about the state of translated literature in the U.S. and the role of reviewers writing about it. Shocker: there is relatively little international literature being translated, published, reviewed, and read in this country. There is even less by women/non-Western European writers. A question we have been asking ourselves, each other, and anyone who would listen is what can be done about changing this situation. It is one of the main reasons we started this blog. This is a collective endeavor, which doesn’t have a simple answer. Suggestions welcome.
“For instance, only six of the nearly one hundred books reviewed on my watch were written by African writers. A whole 17% were translated either from Spanish or French. Moreover, only 16% were books of poetry rather than prose […] exactly two thirds of contributors to the Criticism section were men, and […] close to two thirds of the authors reviewed were men.”