July 23rd, 2015

Making the ‘English translation dream’ happen

2014 and 2015 have been especially good years for English translation deals at the Pontas agency, almost all of them first-time English translations for our authors:

Argentinian author Federico Axat’s psychological thriller The Last Way Out will be published in North America by the Hachette imprint Mulholland books –and 11 other international publishers.

Heart of Jazz, by Swedish author Sara Lövestam, translated into English by Laura Widenburg, has been acquired by Amy Einhorn for Flatiron Books (MacMillan, North American Rights) and by Allen & Unwin (UK & Commonwealth).

In The Land of Giants by Spanish author Gabi Martínez will be published by Scribe Publications in the UK and ANZ, translated by the prestigious David Hahn.

Catalan author Blanca Busquets will see her first English translation thanks to Regan Arts, who have acquired North American rights to her novel The House of Silence.

Hungarian war correspondent Sándor Jászbérényi, whose short stories were already published in the US last year with New Europe Books, translated by Matt Henderson, will appear in the UK and ANZ thanks to Scribe Publications in October, under the title The Devil is a Black Dog.

Tram_83_33 (2) Deep Vellum cover The devil is a black dog_Scribe edition

The Winterlings, by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade, Premio Herralde Finalist, has also joined two passionate English publishing houses across both sides of the Atlantic: Restless Books (North America) and Scribe Publications (UK & ANZ).

Already making waves in the press –with comparisons to Fitzgerald, Pynchon and Foster Wallace– Tram 83 by the francophone Congolese debut author Fiston Mwanza Mujila is sure to get attention when published in September by Deep Vellum, followed by a multi-city tour and more English language editions in the UK (Jacaranda Books) and ANZ (Scribe).

Deep Vellum has also decided to bet on Home by Leila S. Chudori. Meanwhile, New Directions is publishing Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan. These two epic novels written originally in Bahasa Indonesia are represented by Pontas.

HOME_final Deep Vellum Cover_CMYK Beauty is a Wound

Harper Crime UK has just launched the CWA International Dagger Finalist The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo –which Atria (Simon & Schuster) will publish later this year in the US– and has announced the translation of the next two novels in the series.

dolores-redondo-the-invisible-guardian-uk_home-web InvisibleGuardien1

And, in one of the most awaited translations of next year, next May 2016 will be the month when the Frankfurt Book Fair phenomenon and Spanish and French bestseller This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets will be available to English readers, thanks to Harvill Press in the UK and Hogarth Press (Crown) in North America.

English is often the door to the world and therefore has always been a Pontas priority. Regular visits to editors in London and New York (as well as at book fairs), investing in sample translations (and sometimes commissioning English translations for a whole novel), and working very closely and directly with English language editors, large and small, corporate and independent, as well as with scouts, are bearing their fruits and paying off. The trust that we receive from our authors, often very patient and understanding, is our biggest reward.