Asymptote Journal sat down with Ana Pérez Galván on February 3rd to discuss the origins, journey, and triumphs of her press, Hispabooks.
Already familiar with the Spanish publishing industry, in 2011 Pérez Galván and her partner Gregorio Doval set out to form their own independent press. The duo wanted to find a niche for their press, something to differentiate them from the other small publishers in the market. They soon discovered a conspicuous gap in the literary world: while most eminent Spanish authors had their books translated into French, German, Italian, Serbian, and other languages of the region, few if any were ever translated into English.
Part of this dearth of English translations stems from the translation process. Typically, most publishers seeking to release translations are not fluent in the titles’ original languages. To save time, in order to determine which books to produce, they rely on outside reports of the books’ quality, content, and sales potential. This process is effective for commercially successful books, but often leaves behind more literary titles, whose nuance is difficult to convey by proxy.
But since Pérez Galván is a Spaniard herself, Hispabooks selects titles straight from the source, picking up many books that other translators may overlook or leave behind.
“For us,” Pérez Galván says, “our biggest achievement is having put a series of authors ‘on the map’ of world literature in English translation, who, we believe, are really worthy of recognition.”
American critics agree—Hispabooks’ August, October made the Boston Globe‘s list of “Best Books of 2015.” The newest translation triumph, released this past week, from Hispabooks is None So Blind, which Pérez Galván describes as “a beautiful tale on values and sense of belonging which is particularly relevant in the light of all political and religious conflicts going on now worldwide.“
Hispabooks is certainly pioneering a new dedication to English translation. We can’t wait to see what spellbinding translation they release next!