Here at Comma we have a mission to bring the most compelling and astonishing of stories from across the globe to our English-speaking readers. International Translation Day is thus an exciting one for us, as it gives us a chance to showcase the amazing work that our authors and translators do in moving a tale from one language to another.
In 2007 Comma launched a translation imprint (also specialising in short fiction) to bring new masters of the form to British readers. We have published a number of translation anthologies to date covering Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and various single author collections in translation. This year alone we will have and will be publishing collections of short stories translated from Bangal, Arabic and German. You need only look to series like our ‘Reading the City’ collections which showcase short stories that show off the undiscovered literary gems you can find in any city or nation, if you only give them a chance to use their talents.
Writers like Hassan Blasim, the award-winning author of books such as ‘The Iraqi Christ’, which was winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014, submerge the reader in unknown territory, and you are able to see through the eyes of a Baghdad shopkeeper or a soldier. In our newest release, ‘The Book of Dhaka’, the reader can experience living in Bangladesh’s bustling capital city, and read the stories of doomed lovers or live through the fear of military occupation. This is the wonder of translated fiction, and as Lyn Marven, the translator of ‘Swallow Summer’ says of her favourite thing about translating fiction in our latest Facebook video, it allows you to travel the world from the comfort of your own home, but from the perspective of native people.
Comma hope in future to bring even more collections of short stories from exotic and unexplored lands to our audience, and we hope you will celebrate International Translation Day with us.