Smarty Pants Podcast

“Making Books Is a Countercultural Act”

A glimpse into the inner workings of a polyphonic publishing house

By Stephanie Bastek | April 26, 2019
Covers of Restless Books titles
Covers of Restless Books titles

Restless Books devotes itself to publishing books you don’t usually find in English—from Cuban science fiction and illustrated retellings of the Ramayana to doorstopper Hungarian novels. Its catalog features classics, like Don Quixote and The Souls of Black Folk, new immigrant writing from Abu Dhabi, and the mind-boggling prose of Chilean-French novelist Alejandro Jodorowsky. Only three percent of books published in English are in translation, most from European languages. So what does it take to transform a book from one language to another? To answer that question, Ilan Stavans and Joshua Ellison, co-founders of Restless Books, give us a crash course in Publishing 101.

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Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek. Follow us on Twitter @TheAmScho or on Facebook.

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Have suggestions for projects you’d like us to catch up on, or writers you want to hear from? Send us a note: podcast [at] theamericanscholar [dot] org. And rate us on iTunes! Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.

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