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Open Letter launched in 2007 at the University of Rochester with the mission of expanding the readership for international literature in the United States.
With a miniscule amount of literature in translation available to English-language readers, our first goal was to establish a high-quality line of literary works in translation. Over the past seven years we've done just that, with books like Karaoke Culture by Dubravka Ugresic (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist), Tirza by Arnon Grunberg, the widely reviewed and praised Zone by Mathias Énard, and Alejandro Zambra's The Private Lives of Trees.
Each season we select a healthy mixture of established authors (Marguerite Duras and Juan José Saer) with authors whose distinct, remarkable voices are new to English readers (Carlos Labbé and Kristín Ómarsdóttir). Looking through our list, you'll find classics that have stood the test of time along with contemporary works from authors who are destined to become literary stars of the future.
Setting out, we made the decision to design our books with a particular "look" in mind. Although each cover is distinct, you'll that all of our titles "go together." Which is one reason why a number of bookstores have made beautiful Open Letter displays.
I also want to take this opportunity to encourage you to connect with us online. Our blog and review site, Three Percent, is one of the most trafficked Internet sites for information about international literature (and home to the Best Translated Book Award). Also, our website (openletterbooks.org), Facebook page (Open Letter Books), and Twitter account (@open_letter) are very vibrant and provide a slew of links to interesting books, reviews, articles on translation, bookstore news, and translation-centric events.
We hope you enjoy our books—we're very excited to be here.