only 633 newly translated works of fiction and poetry published in English in the US in 2016, less than 1 percent of the estimated 300,000 new books published per year per UNESCO. More than 40 percent of those books were from western Europe. We have almost no insight into what the rest of the world is reading.
People tell me Americans are not interested in other cultures; that we have plenty of great books in English to keep us busy, and that our privileged position creates cultural blindness. That publishers in the US resist works in translation because it takes time, money, and connections far more complex than publishing local writers, or because American editors are monolingual, unlike editors in other countries.