Nothing lost here

If you’ve read Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel García Márquez in English, you’ve also read Edith Grossman’s work. Same goes for Mario Vargas Llosa or the newest edition of Don Quixote. In fact, unless you read these books in Spanish—and very few Americans can—you need Grossman and people like her. This slim volume from Yale University Press addresses the job of a translator and the importance of being able to read literature from cultures and languages other than our own. She includes examples of her translations from the originals, talks about the problems of translation and makes a clear case for the role of translator as cultural mediator: “Translation always helps us to know, to see from a different angle, to attribute new value to what once may have been unfamiliar. As nations and as individuals, we have a critical need for that kind of understanding and insight. The alternative is unthinkable.”