If translators are the anonymous heroes of contemporary literature, its anonymous superhero is Gregory Rabassa.

The New York Times Book Review

Now in paperback, an L.A. Times Favorite Book of the Year, 2005

If This Be Treason

Fiction by Gregory Rabassa

Gregory Rabassa’s influence as a translator is tremendous. His translations of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch have helped make these some of the the most widely read and respected works in world literature. (García Márquez was known to say that the English translation of One Hundred Years was better than the Spanish original.) In If This Be Treason: Translation and Its Dyscontents, Rabassa offers a coolheaded and humorous defense of translation, laying out his views on the translator’s art. Anecdotal and always illuminating, Rabassa traces his career from a boyhood on a New Hampshire farm, his school days “collecting” languages, the two and a half years he spent overseas during WWII, and his South American travels, until one day “I signed a contract to do my first translation of a long work [Cortázar’s Hopscotch] for a commercial publisher.” Additionally, Rabassa offers us his “rap sheet,” a consideration of the various authors and the over 40 works he has translated. This longawaited memoir is a joy to read, an instrumental guide to translating, and a look at the life of one of its great practitioners.

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published September 1, 2007)

ISBN
9780811216654
Price US
16.95
Price CN
22.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
208

Clothbound (published September 1, 2007)

ISBN
9780811216197
Price US
21.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
208

Gregory Rabassa

20th Century American translator

If translators are the anonymous heroes of contemporary literature, its anonymous superhero is Gregory Rabassa.

The New York Times Book Review

Excellent literary entertainment. Read these pages while sipping a Brazilian caipirinha, and you’ll spend a fine and mellow evening.

—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

In this supple narrative, packed with erudition and yet leavened by Rabassa’s mordant, often self-effacing wit, less becomes more.

Newsweek

Widely considered one of the greatest practitioners of his craft.

The New York Times

A fine summing-up by the translator who brought…Márquez and Julio Cortázar to the attention of English-speaking readers.

Kirkus Reviews