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50 Books That Travel

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Those working with literature in translation can quickly tire of the ‘3%’ mantra, with its focus on the paucity of translated literature in the British and American markets. Working with these books every day, the impression is rather of the richness of the field, the wonderful books that inspirational publishers are bringing to our shelves – and the strong sense that this is a field that is growing day by day, too. So when the New Books in German team was asked, together with our partners at the German Book Office in New York, to curate a new book collection that would showcase the latest Germanlanguage books to be published in English, we knew that we would be spoilt for choice.

The result, 50 Books That Travel, is not a virtual but a real collection. The German originals and their English translations are currently on tour around the world, docking in London in April for the London Book Fair before moving on to numerous other fairs worldwide, from Bogota to Beijing, Abu Dhabi to Istanbul.

The task of curating was not an easy one. Initially overwhelmed by the numbers of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books that had appeared over the past few years, we quickly realised that filtering was going to be necessary, and so limited the collection to books that have been published in the past two years. Still we had to leave out books close to our hearts, in order to produce a collection that shows the great breadth, depth and quality of German books in English translation. So rather than bemoaning the 3%, let’s keep celebrating the books that are making it across the breach – the surest way of increasing that percentage and bringing yet more stunning international books to readers.
 
The Frankfurt Book Fair’s book collections are funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

www.buchmesse.de/en/international/books_on_tour
 
 

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