“Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world.”
~ Paul Auster
Literature opens doors to other cultures and perspectives different from our own. Reading books written by authors in other countries and in other languages gives us a glimpse into the unique stories and traditions of these cultures. Ideally we would be able to read all of these works in their original languages. Since this is not possible, a vast amount of international literature remains inaccessible to English speakers.
Translated texts can open up a whole new way of seeing the world, increasing access to international literature for English readers. A highly skilled translator serves as a bridge between different cultures, bringing the author’s world to a new audience.
Unfortunately, only about 3% of all books published in the United States are works in translation. Of those books chosen for translation into English, the vast majority are originally written in Indo-European languages by male authors. This means that many literary works from underrepresented languages never reach English readers.
The Contemporary Global Literature Series is a collaboration of the English Librarian and the Languages Librarian at the Consortium Library. Through this ongoing series we will highlight:
December 10, 2021
Join librarians Anna Bjartmarsdottir and Christie Ericson for a "hyggelig" chat about literature and publishing in the Nordic countries. Settle in with a hot beverage and a sweet treat for this special Fika Friday event. Time will be reserved following the presentation for attendees to share their favorite Nordic literature titles.
Spearheaded by Meytal Radzinski and others in 2014, Women in Translation Month is celebrated every August. This initiative is dedicated to raising awareness of women authors from around the world who write in languages other than English and to promoting gender and cultural diversity in literary publishing.
On August 27, 2021, the Consortium Library hosted a Women in Translation Month panel. The archived recording can be found on our YouTube channel.