It’s not Random House, and it’s not a specialized indie outfit like Europa Editions or New Directions. It’s Last year, the company’s translation imprint, AmazonCrossing, brought out 44 new English translations from a diverse slate of literature, including Icelandic, Turkish and Korean. That’s more translated titles than any other American publisher, according to data from Three Percent, a literary translation blog at the University of Rochester.

by Lucas Stewart

Myanmar’s first post-independence President, U Nu, recognised the value of good literary translation with the establishment of the Burma Translation Society in 1947.  This organisation grew in strength over the next ten years producing high quality volumes of English, French and Russian to Burmese translations of European Classics and Western modernists.

After the military coup in 1962, the philosophy of the ‘Society’ was quickly strangled to the degree that it soon could only translate from a limited, pre-approved list of texts which were not considered ‘harmful to the state of the nation’.  Literary translation became another victim of General Ne Win’s socialist ‘way to democracy’.    

‘Creative Writing and Literary Translation in Asia Today’


Asia Pacific Writers’ & Translators’ 7th International Conference is co-hosted by the National Book Development Council and the Arts House, Singapore.

‘Bridging Cultures’ Includes:

* Keynotes include author-translator Linda Jaivin, Filipino-Australian author and playwright Merlinda Bobis, and other TBA.
* Roundtables inviting audience participation, led by provocative panelists
* Creative writing and editing workshops. We offer seven different workshops for different levels. (Separate registration fees apply). Click HERE for workshop details.
* Book launches on selected evenings.
* Networking opportunities with authors from our region, publishers and international writers’ festival reps.
* Walking tour of ‘Literary’ Singapore (tbc).
* Evening readings (open to the public).
* Free Public Day (Sunday 20 July).

 Biographies of many of the participants can now be read here.