B O D Y’s series of European fiction in translation, Saturday European Fiction, has now reached the end of its second year and so a summing up of sorts is in order.
While the vast majority of writers published come from Central and Eastern Europe, year two has seen the geographical range expand a bit further with a few more Western European countries, and while most of the writers are contemporary, with a few early 20th century authors, we recently has our first full-fledged 19th century writer in J.K. Huysmans.
As far as countries go, over the series’ first two years Russian-language writers are tops with 16 publications. Slovak writers are second with nine and Polish third with seven.
Nationalities represented in SEF: Austrian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Macedonian, Moldovan (Russian-Lang), Montenegrin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Uzbek (Russian-Lang).
The male-female ratio is just over two to one at 46 to 19 though imbalance will be adjusted a bit as two upcoming publications will be by Czech women writers. Nonetheless, this is a tricky issue as it relies on which writers are being translated and published, with some languages and countries being significantly better represented than others.
Of the novel excerpts we’ve published Paris by Marcos Giralt Torrente and translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa was just recently named to the BTBA longlist while Hamid Ismailov was longlisted on the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize this year for The Dead Lake (B O D Y published an excerpt from The Underground).
Honestly, I was too lazy to count but a significant number of the writers we’ve published have appeared in English translation for the first time, which is probably the most important contribution the series can make.
Read Saturday European Fiction here