The Quarterly Conversation and Open Letters Monthly have teamed up this summer for a group read of Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji. The idea is to read about 70-90 pages a week and they have selected the more recent Royall Tyler translation. I’ve decided to join in and ordered my copy of the translation last week. My only experience with Genji is the original and Seidensticker, so this will be a treat. For other language nerds like me, there exists a very cool website in Japanese of the original Genji Monogatari, with the classical Japanese, the modern Japanese and a Romaji transliteration in three interactive panes. So. Much. Fun.

And I just learned (a month late) that Amazon has decided to launch a translation imprint called AmazonCrossing. Using their ever-so-detailed sales and reviews data, they plan to pick up books which are likely to become big sellers and have them translated. On the whole I think this is fantastic news…more books from around the world making their way into English. The first book they’ve picked is from France, The King of Kahel by Tierno Monénembo. I’ll be very curious to see what other books get on to their list.