Thanks to translator extraordinaire Amalia Gladhart, I’m very happy to be celebrating the first English language publication of Angélica Gorodischer’s novel Trafalgar. The credit for this book coming out also goes back to Ursula K. Le Guin whose translation of Kalpa Imperial opened our eyes to this excellent writer. I am so glad I put this rather optimistic line in our About page:
We are seriously interested in more translations — especially of Angelica Gorodischer. However, we are monolingual (sorry) which makes the editorial process difficult. If you are a grad student looking for a translation project which may be of interest to us, we recommend Gorodischer’s Trafalgar and Prodiges.
We heard from a few translators of Gorodischer’s work in the ten years(!) since we published Kalpa Imperial but nothing panned out so when I received an email in June 2011 from Amalia I didn’t know whether to get excited or not. She had published a couple of previous translations, The Potbellied Virgin and Beyond the Islands, both by Alicia Yánez Cossío of Ecuador, which seemed like a good sign. But I still wasn’t sure, of course, until I got the book.
The first story, “By the Light of the Chaste Electronic Moon,” is great and really off the wall—check it out in Fantasy & Science Fiction this spring—so I was on edge, wondering where the book was going. But the second story, “The Sense of the Circle,” blew me away and I knew we were going to publish the book.
When it was announced that Angélica was one of the two winners of the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, I had a mad thought that we could get the book—or at least a chapbook—out in time for the convention. Ha. Did not happen. But in the meantime Kelly found Ron Guyatt‘s fabulous travel poster “Caloris Basin – Mercury” and we worked with him to use it for the cover.
And now the book is out!
Two of the stories are already online: “The Best Day of the Year” (on Tor.com) and “Trafalgar and Josefina” (on Belletrista), and just today “Of Navigators” went up on the lit journal Eleven Eleven’s new site (their print edition will be available here). And reviews are coming in from all over. The Willamette Week (“a thing of digression and casual wonderment”) liked that Trafalgar was translated by an Oregonian. Abigail Nussbaum, in the Los Angeles Review of Books, called it “A novel that is unlike anything I’ve ever read, one part pulp adventure to one part realistic depiction of the affluent, nearly-idle bourgeoisie, but always leaning more towards the former in its inventiveness and pure (if, sometimes, a little guilt-inducing) sense of fun.”
Trafalgar is hard to describe, which is part of the fun of it. Put the coffee on and join in.