New Books in German is a twice yearly journal aimed at busy editors in the UK, the USA, and increasingly those in other countries, who would like to publish more translations but would also appreciate independent help in finding the right titles from among the thousands published each year in the German language: the Spring Issue is published in time for the London Book Fair, while the Autumn issue appears at the time of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
In addition, the journal is sent to translators, to literary critics, to booksellers, to German departments in universities, to libraries and to others who have expressed interest in reading German-language literature. More than four thousand five hundred copies of the journal are distributed throughout the world from the central mailing list in London as well as by the Goethe-Institut, the Austrian, German and Swiss Embassies, the International Division of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the German Book Office in New York.
The initiative for New Books in German came from a seminar held in London in May 1996 at which representatives from many branches of the book trade met to discuss why relatively few books are translated from German into English. It was felt that readers of English were not being given access to some of the best books in a variety of fields and for a variety of reasons. A steering committee was set up to hold further discussions and to launch a journal, with members now drawn from the British Centre for Literary Translation, the Austrian Cultural Forum (formerly Institute), German and Swiss Embassies, the Goethe-Institut, the Frankfurt Book Fair as well as our two editorial consultants. Editorial advisers are brought in for each issue, including a literary agent, a publisher, a translator and a bookseller, as are experienced readers to provide preliminary book reports. Some of the original founding members are still involved. As well as book reviews we publish features on aspects of the publishing scenes in the respective countries, portraits of authors, the experiences of those working creatively with German in their professional lives here, and news about literary festivals and other events.
Financial and moral support for New Books in German is provided by the Foreign Ministries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, Pro Helvetia (Arts Council of Switzerland), the Goethe-Institut in Munich and London, the Austrian Cultural Forum in London, the German Book Office in New York, the International Division of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. In addition, once a book has been chosen independently by the Editorial Committee, its German publishers make a fixed contribution to the journal’s costs. We are grateful to all these supporters, and also to the organisations represented on the Steering Committee, for their continued assistance.
A proportion of the reviews for each issue are translated into Spanish and available here. We thank our colleagues in the Madrid office of the Goethe-Institut for their excellent work.
Steering Committee for New Books in German: Barbara Becker, Frankfurt Book Fair; David Beck, Embassy of Switzerland; Jens Boyer, Goethe-Institut; Susanne Frane, German Embassy; Tanja Howarth, Tanja Howarth Literary Agency; Elisabeth Koegler, Austrian Cultural Forum; Sheridan Marshall, NBG Editorial Consultant; Charlotte Ryland, NBG Editor; Eva Schmitt, Goethe-Institut; Shaun Whiteside, British Centre for Literary Translation.