Also included in this issue is Words without Borders Celebrates New Translations in 2006. Esther Allen has the following to say about a book that will certainly be in my Books of the Year list, César Aira's An Episode in the Life of a Language Painter (translated by Chris Andrews):
The most extraordinary book in translation of 2006 was César Aira's An Episode in the Life of a Language Painter, brilliantly translated by Chris Andrews (and published by New Directions). Aira is a rather unusual writer who composes his short books (more than thirty of them so far) in uninterrupted bursts of inspiration and without looking back or correcting, or so I'm told. As you might expect, such a methodology leads to a highly varied and uneven though always fascinating body of work. In this brief, incandescent book, about an actual incident in the life of the German artist Johann Moritz Rugendas who traveled in Argentina in the early nineteenth century, lightning strikes.