Letters from the Translators


We are so proud to bring works from around the world into English for the first time! The translators of these works are key to the creative process and their talents and insights mustn’t go uncelebrated.

Until January 2, 2023 at 11:59PM EST, we have 40% off ALL books (see full details here)!

See all our reading lists, including Women in Translation, The Verso Gift Guide, and The Year in 10 Books!

This year, we published the fourth volume of The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, edited by Peter Hudis and Sandra Rein, and translated by Jacob Blumenfeld, Nicholas Gray, Henry Holland, Zachary King, Manuela Kölke, and Joseph Muller. Over 80% of the writings in this volume has never appeared in English before including the pathbreaking essay "Lessons of the Three Dumas," which presents a unique perspective on the transition to socialism. If you’d like to support the translation of the next volume in this series, see more here!


Her characters may be out of control, the writer never is.

“Reading her work widely has shown me the ideas and writers that influence her, especially Kierkegaard, Freud and Jung, so that when I translate her, I have a better grasp of the thinking that underpins her novels.” — Charlotte Barslund on the process of translating Is Mother Dead, a novel by Norwegian author Vigdis Hjorth.


Fighting Dirty

What might it look like for survivors of sexual violence to recover the lived reality that has been stripped from their bodies, to once again take their own words and thoughts seriously? Translators Kieran Aarons and Cédrine Michel write about Elsa Dorlin's Self-Defense.


Notes from the Translators of Walter Benjamin's The Storyteller

“In translating Walter Benjamin’s stories, it was important to capture rhythms, cadences, the lilt of a storyteller in the market square passing on lessons for life or unfathomable mysteries that will become the talk of the town” — Esther Leslie on the task of the translator.

“If the original text defies definitive interpretation, the translator's task has to be one principally of deferral – the transferal of the task to the reader. To bring an incomprehensible text into the realm of comprehensibility is to kill it." — Sam Dolbear on the anxiety of the translator.

"Benjamin introduces a distinction between “what is meant” by a text and its distinctive “way of meaning it”, a relation of disjunction between what and how." — Sebastian Truskolaski on the labours of translation.