A Highlight of Top U.K. Translated Books Publishers
There are more than sixty publishing houses that publish books in translation in the UK. Some publish books of any kind from all over the globe, while others specialise in books from specific regions or in different genres. Today we want to introduce you to some of our favourite publishing houses that offer titles in translation and recommend some of our favourite titles published by them.
Founded in 1997 by Melissa Ulfane, Pushkin Press is one of the most notorious independent British Publishers in the world. From the start, its mission was to bring translated literature to the British public, initially focusing on modern classics such as the ones written by Stefan Zweig.
During its twenty-three years of existence, Pushkin has evolved not only to be one of the biggest importers of literature from the globe, but also as a publisher of influential English-written works. Furthermore, Pushkin nowadays not only focuses on high-brow fiction but also in genres that range from non-fiction to children’s books to crime fiction, creating an eclectic list and giving readers a broad selection of high-quality books.
This publisher definitely sets the bar for the outstanding quality of what the Pushkin team keeps delivering to readers and bookworms: even during lockdown, they have been constantly working on their list, which has seen amazing books being published throughout August and September.
Favourite titles: Learning to Talk to Plants by Marta Orriols; The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao.
Notable titles: Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica; The Mystery of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos.
Upcoming titles: When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten; Little Gods by Meng Jin.
Comma Press has distinguished itself from other independent publishers by placing the short story at the heart of its publishing ethos. Specialising in translated fiction, Comma Press has published an extraordinarily diverse range of smaller texts written by authors from around the world. Iraq +100, an anthology of short speculative fiction from Iraqi authors imagining what their country might look like in one hundred years' time, exemplifies Comma Press’s dedication to publishing innovative and daring works of fiction from voices that typically go unheard within the literary sphere.
Comma Press is additionally eager to further diversify and broaden the publishing industry’s traditional London-centricity. Founded in Manchester in 2002, Comma Press has championed areas of the UK typically underappreciated by the literary spotlight. The publisher’s award-winning ‘Reading the City’ series has sought to encapsulate the essence of Northern England cities by asking local authors to write short stories about their hometown – most recently realised in the anthology Reading the City: Sheffield.
Founder of the Northern Fiction Alliance, Comma Press realises the need for the publishing industry to see beyond the nation’s capital, actively promoting and developing opportunities for publishers based in the north of England, while simultaneously seeking out new and established global voices.
Notable Titles: Iraq +100, edited by Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright et al.
The Sea Cloak & Other Stories by Nayrouz Qarmout, translated by Perween Richards.
Inspired by the human folly prevailing in Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo film and self-styled Jacobins of British publishing, Fitzcarraldo Editions is a UK indie publisher of contemporary fiction and long-form essays in translation and in English. Founded in 2014 by Frenchman Jacques Testard and now in its sixth year, it counts among its authors two Nobel Prize winning women in translation with Svetlana Alexievich and Olga Tokarczuk. Publishing its books in a strikingly sparse yet not austere blue (fiction) and white (non-fiction) design has rendered Fitzcarraldo titles highly collectible. Their book covers showcase no fancy eye-catching photo or design but rather just the book’s title and author name in their house font.
This approach of placing authors and their writing before sales is at the centre of Fitzcarraldo Editions, and in a way, their beautiful minimalist livery doesn’t call attention to it likely being a translated book; instead, it simply seeks to blur the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction. Created by Testard to resemble a European style publisher and inspired, too, by American publisher New Directions, Fitzcarraldo’s unwavering editorial ethos publishes authors whose ambitions are to expand the possibilities of form in both fiction and non-fiction.
Compass by Mathias Enard, translated by Charlotte Mandell
The Years by Annie Ernaux, translated by Alison L. Strayer
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes
Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft