I definitely agree that works from around the world need to be translated more readily, into almost every language imaginable. It is so very, very important to increase accessibility to works and encourage dialogues, regardless of the issues that are actually addressed in the works themselves.
It is unfortunate that it currently seems like only the bestsellers have a shot of being translated in the first place…and, of those, only a handful will be widely circulated (case in point, regardless of the fact it has done so well in film circles, my town’s library still lacks a copy of The Reader).
I think it is ultimately up to the readers, who contribute so much to the success of the market, to demand translated works. Hopefully, an increase in demand (i.e. a demonstration of the commercial potential) will encourage publishers to make works accessible to more readers around the world…
One of the things I most enjoyed about studying languages was being able to dip into books that I might otherwise not have been able to read. I love reading books that offer a different perspective on events that we so often always see from an English or Western perspective. But like Izzie says in the article – it’s also so interesting to see the common themes and the traits of human behaviour or storytelling that are universal, even when coming from a completely different setting.
I loved THe Shadow of the WInd and am very keen to take a look at the otehr recommendations.