Bryan Lee O’Malley
& Leslie Hung
Ed Brubaker &
Mark Millar &
Charlotte Ryland is Editor of New Books in German.
to an international readership are contagious. We’re also in
regular contact with a huge number of translators, and our
Emerging Translators’ Programme puts us in touch with new
talent, so we are always able to recommend the best translators
to publishers for sample translations and readers’ reports.
Our partnership with the German Book Office (GBO) New
York has developed into a particularly significant one. We
now work together to assemble a single list of recommended
fiction titles that will appeal to both markets. A New York
jury discusses all the German fiction submissions, and a “US
Jury Pick” stamp on certain titles highlights those books that
have found particular favour there. Again, NBG has grown
stronger through this collaboration, and it’s always great to
work with GBO Director Riky Stock and her team–more of
that common purpose, this time across the pond.
During my time at NBG I have taken maternity leave twice.
Acting Editor Jen Calleja has stepped in both times, bringing
tremendous energy into the project: “Editing the magazine
over a total period of two years–or four issues–has been a life-
enhancing experience, she says. “I went from awestruck intern
to Acting Editor due to Charlotte Ryland’s much valued trust
and generosity. Carrying out the role during this year in
particular, due to the climate of Brexit, made the magazine feel
all the more vital. Sales of literature in translation have risen
dramatically in recent years and New Books in German is part
of that wave. I know it will keep enthusiastically promoting
and supporting the translation of German, Austrian and Swiss
literature to English-language publishers in these important
years to come, doing its part against the climate of isolationism
through the power of incredible literature.”
As we look ahead to the next 20 years, we have two particular
aims in mind. The first is to develop work that’s already begun
on outreach and events–networking with publishers in person
as well as virtually, and putting on public events that will
introduce more German-language writers to UK audiences.
Last year we held the first of what we hope will be many NBG/
Goethe-Institut London joint events, a crime fiction evening
entitled “In the Library with the Lead Piping”. We’re inspired
by the wonderful Festival Neue Literatur in New York, run by
the German Book Office, which brings together German,
Austrian, Swiss and American authors in a series of events, and
hope to develop something similar in London.
Secondly, we’d like to work more closely with the increasing
number of sister-organisations out there–from the Swedish
Book Review to New Spanish Books and all those in between.
This goes back to our focus on collaboration: we don’t just
want publishers to publish more German-language books in
translation, we want them to publish more books in
translation from all languages. This is definitely a field in
which co-operation trumps competition, and we look forward
to developing those links in the years to come. ■