The international writers’ organization PEN recently made available its 2010 Writers in Translation anthology, which one can pick up online (as a PDF) or at select libraries and independent bookstores: for free!
The collection celebrates the act of translation (with some caveats). From the introduction:
So no, translation is not an adjunct, or something less than writing. Umberto Eco, asked which language could be called Europe’s, answered that translation was the language of Europe. We could extend his answer. Translation is the world’s language.
There are a number of Arab writers in the anthology (Elias Khoury appears twice), and PEN this year had a special relationship with the Beirut39 organizers. But Making the World Legible has more than Beirut39 excerpts (and happily includes a story from Hassan Blasim, who Robin Yassin-Kassab thought should not have been overlooked for the Beirut39 list).
The collection is not entirely full of new works. It includes excerpts from Khoury’s Gate of the Sun and Yalo (both translated by Humphrey Davies), Being Arab, by Samir Kassir (translated by Will Hobson) The Yacoubian Building (also trans by Davies), The Chill of the City by Algerian-French author Faiza Guene (translated by Sarah Ardizzone), Tahar Ben Jelloun’s Ala Afia (translated by Linda Coverdale), the short story “The Reality and the Record,” by Blasim (translated by Jonathan Wright), and Yassin Adnan’s “Small Talk in Shades of White,” translated by Haroon Shirwani.