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May 2020 translation news roundup

Your list of goings-on in literature in translation, publishing, literary events, and education from a whirlwind month.

cat lying on top of newspapers

In case you missed it, we hosted virtual conversations with On Lighthouses author Jazmina Barrera in May! The first, hosted by Chicago’s Pilsen Community Books, was a conversation with Barrera and author Eula Biss.

The second event, hosted by Point Reyes Books and the Point Reyes National Seashore Association, featured a talk with Barrera and author and filmmaker Philip Hoare.

We also featured an online conversation with That We May Live contributors Dorothy Tse and translator Natascha Bruce.


Daša Drndić’s EEG, translated from Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth won the 2020 Best Translated Book Award for Fiction. Etel Adnan’s Time, translated from French by Sarah Riggs, won the award for Poetry.

Before the BTBA awards ceremony the shortlisted translators joined a virtual reading from the nominated books, including Beyond Babylon translator and finalist Aaron Robertson.


Donors to our emergency fundraiser gave more than $33,000 to support international authors, translators, and independent bookstores impacted by the current crisis!

As of early May, startup website had already raised more than $1m for indie bookstores.

The 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair organizers vow that the event will take place as planned in October.

Bay Area authors ensure neighborhood bookstores’ survival.

Translation publisher Archipelago Books is hosting an online art auction to support its Elsewhere Editions children’s books imprint.

Reading List

Bookseller Justin Walls thinks the future of bookselling is already here.

On Lighthouses was a staff pick in the Paris Review and featured as an excerpt online.

And Ms. magazine included On Lighthouses in its May 2020 list of reads for the rest of us.

Deep Vellum Books created an On Lighthouses-inspired playlist for its online book club.

A list of virtual literary translation events happening this summer.

Bookstores could be looking at a post-lockdown boom.

Can words help heal a fractured nation? Visiting the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Why teachers, not reformers, should “reimagine education” in the age of the coronavirus and online learning.

We can use this summer to test-drive ideas for safely reopening schools.