News from NORLA
Gunnhild Øyehaug’s short-story collection Knots (Knutar), published in Norwegian in 2004, has just been published in English by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The book has been skillfully translated by Kari Dickson, and the reception is overwhelming.
James Wood, one of the most influentual literary critics in the USA, describes Gunnhild Øyehaug as «a Norwegian master of the short story» in his enthusiastic review of Knots in the latest edition of The New Yorker.
Women in Translation, or WiT, is a global collaborative project to help remedy the discrepancy between the amount of works by women published in English translation, and how they are critically received. A recent report by Nielsen Book showed that translated literary fiction makes up only 3.5% of the literary fiction titles published in the UK, but accounts for 7% of the volume of sales. Only a tiny fraction of fiction published in English is translated, and only about a quarter of that translated fiction was originally written by women. WITMonth is held held every August, to help promote women writers from around the world who write in languages other than English. Here at NORLA we would like to share our own contribution to WiTMonth with you.
As of 30 June 2017, NORLA has received 248 Norwegian books that have been published in a total of 41 languages through NORLA’s (and in the Nordic region: The Nordic Council of Ministers’) translation subsidies.
There are 192 fiction publications and 56 non-fiction publications.
And a total of 63 are titles for children and young people.
See the list of the books below.
Translators are the most important emissaries we have for bringing Norwegian literature out into the world. Their work is of decisive significance and to spotlight this work, we started the interview series entitled “Translator of the month”. Here we will get to know some of those who translate from Norwegian and learn about their challenging work of transmitting Norwegian literature into all the different languages of the world.
The translator of the month for August is Ben Yu, who translates into Chinese. He has translated a number of titles for both children and adults and works as an architect. Together with his wife,
visual designer Yilei Wang, he has founded Northing, a multi-functional organization with a focus on publication, design, cultural events and communication. Northing has initiated the project “China meets Norway in a bookshelf”. This is a cultural exchange project with the purpose of promoting Norwegian art books, picture books, and illustrated books in China through exhibitions, book markets, seminars, workshops and other unofficial activities. The project focuses on young artists and illustrators from or based in Norway and their works that reflect current Norwegian subcultures. As part of “China meets Norway in a bookshelf” an exhibition which will take place in Meridian Space in Beijing during the book fair in August. A selection of artists has been invited to visit China, where they will meet local artists with similar interests and inspire each other. NORLA has provided funding for the project.
Read more about Ben here.
Those of you who understand Norwegian can read the interview here.
Morten A. Strøksnes’ award-winning book Shark Drunk (original title: Havboka) has been launched in the US and UK to great acclaim and is receiving starred reviews. The author was recently interviewed in National Geographic, and last week Shark Drunk featured as «Book of the week» in BBC Four.
The book is translated from the Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally. It is published in the US by Penguin Randomhouse and in the UK by Jonathan Cape under its full title; Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark From a Tiny Rubber Dingy in a Big Ocean.
We’re back from the holidays, and would like to remind you about tomorrow’s application deadline for the translation of Norwegian fiction.
Last year, NORLA collaborated with Talent Norge and the Norwegian Publishers Association on the New Voices development programme. Recruiting new authors and promoting new literary voices abroad are important aims of the Frankfurt 2019 initiative. New Voices will create a space where parts of Norway’s rich literary undergrowth can be made visible, giving a boost to authors who are on the verge of an international breakthrough. A group of 4-6 new writing voices will take part in the programme every six months.
This past spring has been perhaps the most labour-intensive in NORLA’s history. A great deal has happened – particularly when it comes to Norway’s role as guest of honour at Frankfurt 2019:
The Frankfurt team was set up on 1 March, with a project manager, a coordinator for the literary programme and a coordinator for the cultural programme. And the first thing they focused on was presenting a broad range of Norwegian literature for translation to relevant publishers, and setting in motion potential collaborative projects for the cultural programme.