The SALT Project to Promote South Asian Literature in Translation
The SALT Project will help bring the extraordinarily rich literature of the subcontinent to readers, writers, and scholars in publishing markets where it has been severely underrepresented.
South Asia is home to about a quarter of the world’s population and to countless rich literary traditions.
But only a miniscule number of translated literary works from South Asian languages make it to the US and other western Anglophone markets: less than 1% of all translated literature published in the US over the past ten years, and from a mere eight languages.
SALT is a multi-year project designed to support and promote the English-language translation of literature written in the languages of South Asia.
The SALT project will strengthen each part of the publishing chain across the English-speaking world, with training for literary translators, support for publisher acquisitions, and funding to pay for translation and for promotion of the translated work. Project components include:
· mentorships for translators working with South Asian languages
· a South-Asia-focused literary translation summer school
· the launch of a new fund for translation samples
· the launch of a new fund for publisher grants
· a series of workshops for publishers across South Asia
· a travel grant program (open to publishers and translators)
· promotional grants and public programming
2022 International Booker Prize co-winner, novelist Geetanjali Shree, called the SALT project: “A truly momentous step towards promoting a humanitarian and pluralist globalism to counter the grabbing globalism of the totalitarian market.”
Writer, musician, and critic Amit Chaudhuri, editor of The Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature, said: “This is an initiative of genuine importance. It should, in the long term, go some way towards changing the way we understand literature today.”
SALT Project Calendar: Year 1 (subject to small changes)
July 2023 — formal start of SALT Project
August 2023 – applications open for publisher travel grants (translators will start from 2024)
September 2023 – applications open for first eight translator mentorships
October 2023 (tbc) – launch of publisher grant program
January 2024 – applications open for translator summer school
March 2024 (tbc) – launch of translator sample grant program
Project partners include: The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), English PEN, Words Without Borders, and The British Council.
Questions? Want to keep informed about the project? Please contact email@example.com and follow us on Twitter @SALTatChicago.
Advisory Board (additional names to be added)
- Aron Aji
- Ajit Baral
- Musharraf Ali Farooqi
- V. V. Ganeshananthan
- Kate Griffin
- Jason Grunebaum (co-director)
- Daniel Hahn (co-director)
- Jayasree Kalathil
- Rifat Munim
- Daisy Rockwell
- Arunava Sinha
The SALT Project is currently funded by one generous individual donor.