It’s easy to despair of the lack of translated books, sometimes. There’s the xenophobia, and I suppose lack of money for publishers. Maybe. But for every iffy homegrown book, there might be a tremendously good foreign book, just waiting to be translated.
SELTA, the Swedish-English Literary Translators’ Association, have a blog, and recently Fiona Graham, one of their members, published her sample translation of a chapter from Frida Nilsson’s Apstjärnan, under the title My Mum’s a Gorilla – So What? and I have to say I love the title, and I really enjoyed reading it. Yes, I know I could read the whole book in the original, but I didn’t know about it until I read the SELTA blog.
What could beat a gorilla teaching a small girl how to drive? Ridiculous, funny, entertaining. I can’t drive. Should I get a gorilla to help?
Occasionally I email publishers and suggest foreign books they might look at. I think it’s a losing battle, but every now and then I feel strongly enough to do it anyway.