Fourth Estate moves to strengthen its translation list

Fourth Estate moves to strengthen its translation list

HarperCollins imprint Fourth Estate is strengthening its publishing in translation, with commissioning editor Anna Kelly stepping up to take particular responsibility for this area of the list.

Kelly will focus on literature in translation in addition to her ongoing focus on English-language books.

At the London Book Fair earlier this month, Kelly acquired world English language rights to two novels in translation. One of these was "international hot property" The Beauty House (English title to be confirmed), a feminist thriller by Melba Escobar, set in and around a Colombian beauty salon and bought from Pontas Literary & Film Agency.

Escobar said: "To be part of Fourth Estate is an immense and unexpected reward after three years of hard work. I hope this will also be the opportunity for English-language readers to dig deeper into a complex society where women are particularly vulnerable".

Publication is provisionally scheduled for 8th March, International Women’s Day, 2018.

The second deal was with Diogenes Verlag for rights to Swiss-German bestseller Pink Elephant by Martin Suter – a "feel-good" adventure novel about a tiny glowing pink elephant created by genetic engineering, and the homeless man who finds himself in a race to save the elephant from harm. Pink Elephant been number one in the German charts for more than six weeks and the English translation is slated for April 2018.

Kelly says: “I couldn’t be more excited about publishing these two ingenious and very different novels at Fourth Estate in 2018. Dynamic commissioning means bringing energy and variety to a list, introducing fresh stories and perspectives and looking for opportunities outside of the expected or obvious. One of the best ways of doing this is to go after books from other places, from writers working in other languages with something new to bring to English-language readers.”

Fourth Estate’s renewed focus on translation will build on its success with Jonas Jonasson’s novels The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden and Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All. Also forthcoming in spring 2018 is Maybe Esther, a literary work written in German by Ukrainian author Katja Petrowskaja. Meanwhile a deal is also being finalized with Gallimard for Letters to the Lady Upstairs (translated by Lydia Davis), a collection of letters Marcel Proust wrote between 1908 and 1916 to the woman who lived in the apartment above his, originally published by Gallimard in 2013.