The astonishing history of Argentina, which founded the first publishing house of contemporary Latin American literature in the Anglo-Saxon world

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Carolina Orloff is the founder of Charcopress.

Scholarship at age 17 to complete high school in Canada changed a life Caroline Orloff. “He opened up the world to me,” he said Edinburgh (Scotland) to Nation. In this city he founded five years ago – with a partner from New Zealand – Charcopress, the The leading publishing house in the Anglo-Saxon world specializing in contemporary literature in Latin America. invest some 10,000 USD Ignoring the advice of booksellers and publishers, they started out with Five books by Argentinian authors, with a print run of between 1,000 and 1,500 copies. It was published in 30 copies and some sold 13,000 copies.

Orloff studied literature and translation in York (England) and always had “the ambition to study and return to Argentina”. Indeed, he returned several times with the idea of ​​devoting himself to teaching and research, but ended up settling in Edinburgh, where he made Doctoral thesis with Julio Cortázar. “I translated it because I couldn’t forgive myself for not being in Spanish even though it was for crazy readers“, invoice.

The publishing house was born out of a combination of her knowledge and passion for literature and her transition between Europe and Argentina: “It was so frustrating not being able to find authored books. contemporaries in English, so we decided to devote ourselves to this piece. We went to the scene in 2017, he recalls.

Charcopress published 30 titles, with good sales.

Charcopress published 30 titles, with good sales.

Although he came from a family linked to books, he had no training in publishing. “We found it out and they gave it to us Very conservative advice that we didn’t pay attention toThey told us to throw a book and see… We went out with five reviews at the same time, Orlov. He emphasizes that the choice of the designer was the key Pablo calligraphy – Those who work from Argentina – because they needed an “A” job A space in libraries and in the Anglo-Saxon imagination What is still, at one point, Latin America as Wilderness.

The five authors selected for the launch are Jorge Consiglio, Ariana Harwich, Luis Sagaste, Gabriela Cabezon Camara and Ricardo Romero. “The decision was due to the fact that they know so little about Argentinian literature that they think it is magical realism, and that is why we took authors of the same generation, from a country and showed that ‘there are differences, models, richness, ”he said.

In the second year, Charcopress added writers from Peru, Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia. Orloff specifies that they were diverse and that the versions, from the start, were “good”; Note that the fact that there is Nominations for the Grand Prix this “Put on the map“.

Among the awards and nominations are Tres Coins de Consiglio, which just won “Best Blanket of the Year” from the Saltire Society; Cabezon Camara’s The Adventures of China Iron was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize last year; Harwicz’s book Mátame amor also reached this position, but is on the long list in 2018, in addition to being a finalist for the Valle Inclán Prize for Translation by the Association of British Authors and the best book translated in the United States. Unis and El Viento que devasa by Selva Almada won The first book award for the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the 2019 Saltire Society Best Cover Award.

Orloff realizes that she has the advantage of being “Argentina in the world of Anglo-Saxon publishing”, because that gives her a “floor of knowledge”. Editorial Purchases the rights in Business English and manages the translations Who has a team that is constantly on the lookout for “new talents, because the idea is to renew the landscape in all directions”.

The number of initial editions of the titles is around 3,500 or 4,000 copies, but there are cases like Cabezón Cámara which has already sold 13,000 copies. They distribute to UK, US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

“We learn as we go, but there are things that surprise us,” Orloff says. For example, I took the nickname Cabezón Cámara as some sort of experiment, and I didn’t think that a text so associated with Argentine mythology would work so well., that it could be moved and found readers and that it was a success.

The editor emphasizes the “mobile select” of authors in English, so that readers can access it; Many of our books are used by universities in the UK and USA. The idea is to question the canons, which is prompted to read other stylesOther worlds.


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