“Was your book originally written in English? If so, we regret that we may not be the best publisher for you.” So begins the courteously-written online FAQS section of MacLehose Press, the English-language translation imprint of Quercus Books. This little publisher has good reason to remain direct, as they rarely accept original English-language works. Instead, the MacLehose Press team focuses their efforts towards supporting international stories by authors hailing from “almost every continent”.
MacLehose Press’ motto is “Read the World”—a simple, yet clear mission statement. Since its start in 2008, the “independently-minded” press has kept this saying in mind, unafraid to accept international literature by debut authors with little notoriety (provided the stories are exquisite). This willingness to take risks on new writers brought many successes to MacLehose Press, none more so than the debut thriller-in-translation by an unknown Swedish novelist that was printed during the press’ first year of operation. Needless to say, the English-language edition of Stieg Larsson’s sensational The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was worth the gamble.
Of course, MacLehose Press’ ever-growing book lists aren’t exclusively made of English-language debuts. Consider the forthcoming novel, All the Lives We Never Lived by author Anuradha Roy as an example. Roy’s previous novels are widely reviewed and enjoyed by critics from Seattle to New Delhi, the most recent of which was longlisted for the Man Booker Award and won the 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. She’s an established novelist whose English-reading fanbase is already anticipating her characteristically cinematic scenes, dynamic character transformations, and thoroughly-researched historical backdrops. After researching MacLehose Press’ ten years of backlist achievements, I find myself joining Roy’s fans in excitedly awaiting the new release. If only the US cover art was as lovely as the UK edition posted above… (See the US cover art here.)
Learn more about MacLehose Press’ global literary interests by reading the excerpt below:
From writers as yet undiscovered in translation, to prize-winning household names; from dazzling literary creations to spine-tingling noir masterpieces, we endeavour to bring a broad spectrum of the very best of foreign literature to English-reading audiences.
Our mission is to “Read the World”, and we hope you will join us on our adventures.
For more about MacLehose Press’ books, events, and authors, visit the official website.
By Chelsey Slattum