Translating saudade, a downstairs renaissance, and more

March 7, 2014

The March 2013 cover of WLTWhile you’re browsing through this week’s set of lit links, we would really appreciate your help. We are currently in the running for ASME’s Best Cover Contest and need votes to win! All you have to do is click on this link to our March 2013 cover on Facebook and like the photo to cast your vote for us. Voting in our category stays open until Sunday, March 9. We appreciate your help!

News, Reviews, and Interviews

In a new report, statistics show that of the top 100 books banned in the last century, 72 are children’s literature titles.

Worried about your personal privacy online? Julia Angwin, author of Dragnet Nation, tells Kirkus Reviews that it’s possible to reclaim privacy.

What’s the best thing about being an author in Egypt today? Mohammed Abdelnaby responds that even a city full of problems is full of inspiration.

Have you ever heard of the word “saudade”? It’s a common phrase in Latin music, but what does this untranslatable word mean and why is everyone singing about it?

Ilan Stavans, publisher of Restless Books, recently sat down with Words Without Borders to talk about how and why he became a publisher. (For more of Stavans’ work, see his essays ”Is American Literature Parochial?” and ”Should Books Be Sold?” in WLT magazine.)

As Antony Shugaar notes in the New York Times, it’s the subtle aspects, like dialects and minor details, that make translation so difficult.

How does the way in which a book gets published translate into an author’s earnings? A new report examines author earnings based on whether the author published with a small, medium, large, indie, or “big 5” publishing house.

The Poetry Foundation recently launched a new series of world poetry called Poets in the World, which will feature eight new titles from contemporary poets around the world.

For Your Calendar

Readux Books is hosting an innovative new writing contest online. Winners will receive translation and publication as their grand prize.

Now is a great time to do some shopping. The New York Review of Books is hosting its Winter Sale, and 50 books are now 50% off.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

Sometimes writing is the only creative outlet available to tell a story. Refugees often use creative writing to tell their stories, for example.

Missing all those episodes of Downton Abbey? Turns out a fascination with the lives of downstairs servants is nothing new: in fact, this is just another “downstairs renaissance.”

Does fiction, in fact, exist? How can we know?

Perhaps this debate will finally settle the score: Austen vs. Brontë.