Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is the World’s Largest Translator of German Literature in India?

...Naveen Kishore, who, in 1982, founded Seagull Books in India’s literary capital, Kolkata.  And today, it is the biggest publisher of translated German literature in the world.
By 2005, Seagull Books had a list of over 400 titles.  And in that same year, Kishore took note of the increasing number of foreign publishers attempting to set up shop in India, which inspired Kishore to attempt to do the same thing in reverse, but on his own terms.
He set up a goal for himself:  to travel the world and, working closely with literary agents, find material suitable for worldwide publication.  And to help achieve that goal, he opened up branches of Seagull Books in London and in New York.
Seagull started publishing French and German titles.  Other deals were set up, including one with Chicago University Press.  DW pointed out that it was “Kishore’s special talent for negotiating, his sensitivity and tenaciousness [that] made it all possible.  His work has become a cultural bridge between the East and West.”
Indeed, with the publication of several hundred works in English translation by German authors, Seagull Books is now the largest publisher of German literature in the world.  Many of these books are first-time releases, or, because of Kishore’s determination, being reintroduced to the world after spending long periods of time languishing out of print. 

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