A Year of Reading Dangerously: bringing world writing home
From Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist to Joanne Harris's Chocolat, so many of us enjoy reading novels about other countries.
It's this enthusiasm that has led Oxygen Books, well known for its offbeat city-pick urban travel guides, to come up with an exciting new Arts Council- funded project called A Year of Reading Dangerously.
The project's aim is simple: to introduce a wider public to the joys of writing in translation from a range of countries.
A Year of Reading Dangerously has come up with lists of the top ten guaranteed good reads in translation from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.
'There's a real enthusiasm for reading about other countries amongst readers but often they're not sure where to start and sometimes an overemphasis on translation and winning prizes puts many readers off: they think the novels are too worthy or too heavy for them,' says project manager and Oxygen Books publisher Malcolm Burgess.
'We think many readers need a more 'softly, softly' accessible approach - lots of translated novels are both compelling and entertaining reads after all. We see ourselves following very much Lovereading and Goodreads rather than the top down approach and are excited that the Arts Council sees this as an exciting way ahead with our pilot project.'
The project includes a special touring exhibition visiting libraries across London and Essex for 2015 - 16, a website, including interviews with key translators and podcasts, visits to book groups across London and Essex, library stock promotions, bookmarks and a series of events. in which well known writers discuss their own work and books from particular countries which have inspired them.
These will include an evening of Russian writing with Orange Prize-winner Helen Dunmore, exploring books and writers from every country in the world with Reading the World author Ann Morgan, a celebration of Asian poetry with award winning poet Moniza Alvi and an evening of Scandinavian noir with Denmark's Sander Jakobsen.
For more information and exhibition pictures about A Year of Reading Dangerously: firstname.lastname@example.org; 07594490216/ 01277 263770