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Saturday, October 19 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Chances of German Translation in the United States

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According to the Translation Database at Publishers Weekly, 2018 was the second year in a row when the total number of translated works of fiction and poetry published in the United States declined, 606 titles compared to the peak of 666 titles in 2016. This is a tiny percentage of the total number of books published annually in the US (around 300,000). Contrast that with Germany: in 2016, 9,882 new translations were published in Germany, 13.6 percent of new releases, as reported in the Frankfurter Buchmesse “Books and the Book Trade in 2017 (2016 figures)” report. To this day, German-language readers lead the world in published translations. Authors like J.K. Rowling and Jojo Moyes top both German and American bestseller lists, but it’s rare for a German author to top charts in the US. Why does this cultural imbalance persist? Literary translators Danny Bowles and Katy Derbyshire will discuss these issues and more in this conversation.

avatar for Daniel Bowles

Daniel Bowles

Daniel Bowles is an assistant professor of German studies at Boston College, where he researches and teaches twentieth-century and contemporary German literature, culture, and history. Christian Kracht’s The Dead is his latest translation. Previous translation work includes novels... Read More →
avatar for Katy Derbyshire

Katy Derbyshire

Katy Derbyshire is a British-born, Berlin-based translator and writer. She translates contemporary German writers including Clemens Meyer, Christa Wolf, Helene Hegemann, and Inka Parei. Her translation of Bricks and Mortar by Clemens Meyer was longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize... Read More →


Saturday October 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
199 Commonwealth Ave 199 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA, 02116