10 Mar The Australian Publishing and Bookselling Landscape: An Interview with Penny Hueston
By Marleen Seegers, Co-Founder of 2 Seas Agency and Host of The Make Books Travel Podcast
March 10, 2022
Today’s interview features Penny Hueston, who is Senior Editor at Text Publishing in Melbourne, Australia as well as a literary translator from the French.
Independent publisher Text Publishing has been championing translations from languages around the world since it started out in 1994. And Penny is passionate about her work as a translator. I was looking forward to speaking with her about these subjects that are at the heart of this podcast.
Here are some of the questions I asked Penny:
- What made you want to become a literary translator?
- How do you combine the two careers, as a translator and an editor?
- For you personally, what are the biggest challenges and rewards of being a literary translator?
- How is the current Australian publishing market faring?
- Did overall sales increase since the beginning of the pandemic, like we have seen elsewhere?
- What does the Australian bookselling landscape roughly look like nowadays?
- Are there a lot of independent bookstores?
- Can you expand on the connection between Australia and New Zealand, in terms of publishing, distribution, bookstores etc?
Some of the books mentioned by Penny:
- Olga Tokarczuk, Flights, The Books of Jacob, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead
- Peter Singer’s work
- Yan Lianke’s work
- Cory Taylor, Dying
- Akuch Kuol Anyieth, Unknown: A Refugee’s Story
- Fiona Murphy, The Shape of Sound
Penny Hueston is Senior Editor at Text Publishing and a literary translator from the French.
Her translations include novels by Emmanuelle Pagano (One Day I’ll Tell You Everything), Patrick Modiano (Little Jewel), Sarah Cohen-Scali (Max) and Raphaël Jerusalmy (Evacuation).
She has translated six books by Marie Darrieussecq—All the Way, Men, Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker, Our Life in the Forest, The Baby, and Crossed Lines.
She has been shortlisted for the JQ-Wingate Prize, the Scott Moncrief Prize, and twice for the New South Wales Premier’s Translation Prize.