Archipelago Books

Archipelago Books is a non-profit publisher based in Brooklyn, New York, devoted to publishing outstanding translations of classic and contemporary literature from around the world. In its first eighteen years, Archipelago has brought out more than two hundred books from close to forty languages. Archipelago is committed to providing a space for extraordinary writers and thinkers from around the globe, whose voices may not otherwise be heard and whose work reinforces our shared sense of humanity.

Archipelago Books
FounderJill Schoolman
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationBrooklyn, New York
Key peopleEmma Raddatz, Sarah Gale
Fiction genresLiterature in translation
ImprintsElsewhere Editions

The publishing company was founded in 2003 by Jill Schoolman, who believes that artistic exchange between cultures is a crucial aspect of global understanding. The dream was to introduce readers to exceptional works of literature from around the world. That first year, with a staff of two, they succeeded in translating and publishing four titles and securing a distributor. Eighteen years later, Archipelago has earned a reputation as an indispensable publisher of translated literature. By publishing diverse and innovative literary translations, Archipelago is doing what it can to change this lamentable circumstance and to broaden the American literary landscape.

Archipelago Books publishes sixteen new titles each year with a core staff of five: twelve to fourteen works of literary fiction and poetry as well as two extraordinary international picture books for young readers under the imprint Elsewhere Editions.

Archipelago’s books have been met with critical acclaim and national attention, receiving prestigious awards and recognition. They've been featured and excerpted in publications like The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, among many others. Archipelago’s authors and translators have received the PEN Translation Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, and the Dublin IMPAC Award, among other honors. Norwegian writer Hanne Ørstavik's Love won the 2019 PEN Translation Prize, and was a National Book Award for Translated Literature finalist. Rwandan author Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir Cockroaches was named one of "The 50 Best Memoirs in the Past 50 Years" by the New York Times, and her Barefoot Woman was also a finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature. A survivor of the Rwandan genocide, Mukasonga, in the words of J.M. Coetzee, “breathes upon a vanished world and brings it to life in all its sparkling multifariousness.” Rachel Cusk dubbed Karl Ove Knausgaard's groundbreaking My Struggle series "perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our time." In 2017, Archipelago's publisher Jill Schoolman won the Words Without Borders Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature. The Ottaway Award’s chair said of her efforts, “As physical and political borders close in around us, Jill Schoolman’s Archipelago Books offers a safe harbor to literary talent from around the world, infusing our bookshelves with vital and original work in translation.”

Archipelago’s picture book imprint, Elsewhere Editions, was launched in 2017. So far, the imprint has released picture books from Estonia, China, Finland, Brazil, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Iran, and soon from Argentina, Uruguay, Switzerland, and elsewhere. You Can’t be Too Careful! by Hans Christian Andersen Award-recipient Roger Mello, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn, was a winner of the 2018 Batchelder Award; Feather by Cao Wenxuan, with illustrations by Roger Mello, and translated from the Chinese by Chloe Garcia Roberts, was deemed “profound” by the New York Times Book Review, each page an “evocative surprise.” My Valley by Claude Ponti, one of France’s most celebrated children’s writers, was named one of the Best Picture Books of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews, and My Little One, by Germano Zullo and Hans Christian Andersen-winning illustrator Albertine, won the Bologna Ragazzi Award in 2016.

Archipelago was the 2008 winner of the Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing, given by the Association of American Publishers.[1]

Archipelago's best known authors include Elias Khoury, Julio Cortázar, Mahmoud Darwish, Scholastique Mukasonga, Nobel Prize laureate Halldór Laxness, Breyten Breytenbach, Karl Ove Knausgård, Mircea Cărtărescu, Louis Couperus, Heinrich Heine, Novalis, Hugo Claus, Rainer Maria Rilke, Heinrich von Kleist, and Jacques Poulin.


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