Annals of Translation

Dava Sobel, author of Longitude, recently reviewed Richard Holmes's The Age of Wonder for The B&N Review,  noting that it swept her into "riding happily with its heroes through a blaze of adventures and ideas." She sent us this enlightening note recently about the passage of a reviewer's work into other languages:


I don't know whether I ever told you about my wonderful Chinese translator, Xiao Mingbo, who translated two of my books for a Chinese publisher--even though he is employed full time as a professor of information technology.

We stay in touch, and I recently saw him in Shanghai in connection with the total eclipse of July 22. He asked me about on-line book reviews, so of course I referred him to B&N. He took it upon himself to translate my review of The Age of Wonder for a Chinese on-line forum of translators. I thought you'd enjoy hearing what he told me:

I translated your book review of "The Age of Wonder", and it was welcomed by readers in the free translators forum. It was even selected as the editors' choice to appear on the main webpage. I was much delighted to have figured out a good translation for the sentence "His lamp not only caged the flame, it transformed it into a canary."


We're delighted too, and hope to learn what exactly happens to that metaphor when it is translated into Mandarin!



April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.