Introducing…World Lit in Translation



Attention lit lovers: look at your bookshelves. How white is your library? Whose voices are represented? Whose stories are missing? What I’m saying is it’s time to expand your horizons. Good thing our brand new World Literature in Translation section can be found on the first floor between Classics and Poetry. Our inventory managers and buyers have been working hard on building this section.

Often, the publishing champions of translated world literature are small presses. As a bookstore that carries both small presses and large publishing houses, we worry that those small presses get lost behind heavy quantities of frontlist titles. Yes, we have double-digit copies of George R. R. Martin, but we also carry the patron saint of Cuban science fiction. In order to increase the visibility of what we consider the best in translated world lit, we’ve pulled these books out and given them their own section.

Explore literary traditions throughout the globe! Interested in the first work of dissident fiction from a North Korean writer still living in the DPRK? How about 1970s Italian political horror that presciently predicts Internet trolling? Absurdist comic short stories from Hong Kong? An opaque novel/suicide note from Taiwan’s most acclaimed queer modernist? Grab a copy of the Argentine classic that mirrors the absurd rise of the American alt-right movement…80 years in advance. Whatever your flavor, find it on our shelves.

For your browsing pleasure, this section is not divided geographically. All regions are treated equally and all authors are listed alphabetically, just like our other literature sections. As always, you can ask our expert booksellers for recommendations. Jan can recommend pre- and post-partition Korean lit as well as South American literature. Molly O has read more Soviet and Jewish literature than most academics. Gregory can recommend mid-20th century French and Weimar German lit and tragic Chinese love stories. Uriel will chat your ear off about literally anything.

Of course we still have great world lit originally published in English in our general fiction and classics sections. And our Spanish language literature on our second floor is expanding as well.

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