Book Expo America 2014 To Highlight Translation

After visiting the London Book Fair this past spring, I came home feeling sad that literary translation did not play a more central role in our own U.S. book fair, Book Expo America, which is held every May in New York at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. BEA has traditionally been more a commercially oriented booksellers fair than an international rights fair, which is why it is so much smaller and less overtly literary, but now BEA’s organizers are looking to change the fair’s profile by adding substantial new programming designed to interest a wider literary audience, including events both on- and offsite. And to my delight, one of the first big changes on the horizon is a new emphasis on translation. There was already some translation programming at BEA in 2013, but now the fair’s organizers have decided to make translation the central focus of BEA 2014. Usually the fair highlights the literature of one foreign country or region each year, but the title of the next BEA Global Market Forum is “Books in Translation: Wanderlust for the Written Word,” and part of the associated programming will involve a launch of a new Literary Translation Center at the fair (modeled on the one at the London Book Fair) that is to become a standard recurring feature at BEA, meaning that we can count on having interesting translation programming at and around the fair for years to come. BEA’s organizers have assembled a team of translation experts to help with planning, so I’m expecting to see a truly interesting lineup when the fair kicks off at the end of May. Meanwhile, if you’re in the industry and would like to suggest translation-themed programming or a partnership for the 2014 Global Market Forum, see the BEA website for more details and contact information.

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