How it works:
And Other Stories is like a CSA of publishing houses – you can sign up for their book list, and get their latest delivered to your door when it’s published. They’re also community supported in the sense that they seek out their readers’ feedback, and have an active community involved in helping suggest new books for them to publish. They’ve won just about every award possible in the UK, as Chad Post notes on the Three Percent blog, and they publish a great deal of fiction in translation.
One way And Other Stories selects fiction to translate and publish is through their reading groups, which they run across several languages and in several countries, with translators, writers, editors, and other savvy readers connected to the publishing house. AOS uses the groups to gather readers’ opinions on as-of-yet untranslated novels, and to help them pick what to publish. As AOS Editor-at-large Sophie Lewis said in an interview with M. Lynx Qualey, “There just aren’t enough of us with enough time or languages under our belts. So our reading groups are open proving grounds for books we think we might be interested in.”
Well be reading three Syrian novels suggested by Samar Yazbek in 2013: The Epidemic by Hani al-Rahib, The Shell by Mustafa Khalifa, and Ascension to Death byMamdouh Azzam.
Go to the author pages linked above to find out more about the books, download extracts translated into English, find out how to purchase the books, and join in the discussion in the comments section.
From the website:
“The Arabic group is the second in a series of special reading groups in collaboration with the European Society of Authors and kindly funded by the Michalski Foundation. We’re selecting books from the European Society of Authors’ Finnegan’s List, a list of under-translated, under-recognized works recommended by prominent writers from around the world. Lebanese author Hoda Barakat and Syrian author Samar Yazbek have both suggested Arabic titles for the list in the past two years.
You can take part in discussions in person in New York City and Cairo, as well as online in the comments section of the author pages. If your book club in another city is interested in reading along, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of all, we want to know what you think of the novels, and thanks to your discussion online and in person, one or more of the books we discuss might make it into English.
We also invite editors from around the world to read the English samples, peruse the author pages and even come to our meet-ups to hear more. (And Other Stories doesn’t publish many titles each year, so we’d be delighted if you followed up on one of these tips and published the author – do let us know!)”