Introduction from the editor

Why create this book?

This book began as a way to document the Bath Festivals’ event ‘Around the World in 10 Books’.

My interest in translation, and in writing that introduces cultures that are different to that of my own, led me to put out a call for new submissions from writers from all over the world; from Japan to Scotland, from Australia to Guernsey. I wanted to create a place where writers could make their experiences of different languages and cultures known.

In my own contribution, I explore the combination of creativity and anecdote. As research for this piece I interviewed the son of two individuals who were forced to leave their home in Poland during World War II. His own experience of growing up in Bristol with Polish refugee parents was so fascinating that I decided it had to be included in this collection.

What does it mean to be a global citizen?

Five years ago, Bath Spa University set up an extra-curricular course, Certificate in Global Citizenship. The aim of the course is to give students the opportunity to access speakers and international opportunities outside of their degree course. To produce students who are equipped and ready for the wider world of work, to start to understand other cultures and experience living abroad through work or study placements. This deeper understanding of the world and intake of knowledge is designed to be used as a transferable skill within the work environment, no matter the form this environment takes.

Bath Spa University aims to inspire students to understand what it is to be part of a nation state, and how that nation state operates on a larger global stage. To encourage them to question their own assumptions, not just take for granted those views they have held all their lives. To question those assumptions and bring to bear those powers of argument, with data and facts that might make a difference.

Lizzie Watts: Programme Coordinator and Student Liaison, Certificate in Global Citizenship

The importance of translation

Having books in translation is so important. I’d argue that 90% of what I know I’ve learned from books. So we can learn about these other cultures and countries, and how other people think and operate by reading their stories. But because I can’t speak Bulgarian, and I can’t speak Finnish, the only way for me to do that is if someone who does speak those languages translates the books for me.

Scott Pack: writer, editor and publisher

The editor

Amy Barrett is an undergraduate Publishing with Creative Writing student at Bath Spa University. This project began as a requirement of her Global Citizenship programme at the university. This book has been created by her, in conjunction with digital publishing start-up, Book Kernel, and the university’s Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education, TRACE.

2 Responses to Introduction from the editor

  1. Lizzie on June 22, 2017 at 6:16 pm says:

    Strange to realise how many books in translation I have read without registering that is what they are.

  2. Matt Thorpe-Coles on June 22, 2017 at 6:27 pm says:

    Brilliant book addressing such a necessary gap in Western literature.

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