Five Minutes with Lauren Edwards

Five Minutes with Lauren Edwards
Photo credit: Sean Ennis.

Lauren Edwards is the translation program manager at AmazonCrossing, where she manages engagement with the global translator community, diversity initiatives, and their international submissions website.

She studied foreign languages at Lewis and Clark College, and was a Fulbright Fellow and a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow in Germany.

Lauren also holds an MA from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Twitter @EdLauren

What was the last book you read?

I just finished the manuscript of the English translation of All This I Will Give to You by Delores Redondo, translated by Michael Meigs, and sped through it. It’s a mystery from Spain’s most read author of 2017, and an absolute page-turner. AmazonCrossing is publishing this international bestseller on September 1st and UK readers can get a sneak peek in Amazon First Reads in August.

And what did you read it on?

My Kindle, of course!

What’s next on your reading list?

Stay with Me by Nigerian writer Ayobami Adebayo.

Tell us what you do in 20 words.

I support translators we work with globally, ensuring they have the best possible experience with us throughout the publication process.

What is the one thing about your company that we need to know?

AmazonCrossing is one of the largest translators of literature into English in the US, and globally, we’ve translated more than 900 books into five languages from authors from 39 countries and 22 languages. We’re also committed to diversifying our list, particularly through translations of underrepresented voices. Readers can help us find those voices by suggesting titles to us here.

What do you like about your job?

It’s great to have a job that focuses so much on translators. The art of translation is not only fascinating to me, it’s absolutely fundamental to our business. We couldn’t do what we do without translators, and I like being in a position where I can help make sure they have a fantastic experience working on our books. I’m also a German speaker myself, and it’s a treat to be able to work so closely with people who share a love for languages. I love being able to chat with our into-German translators about current trends in German literature, or talk with our German to English translators about the best approach to tricky German vocabulary, like Fernweh (more or less a longing for places far away, the inverse of homesickness). I could chat about German grammar all day!

What would be the title of your autobiography?

For my current work life – Around the World in 80 Emails.

And your first in the book industry?

I started my career in publishing at Amazon, first as the marketing manager for AmazonCrossing before moving to the program manager role. Previously, I studied foreign literature and international affairs and had been pursuing a career in foreign policy. But I jumped at the chance to work for Amazon Publishing and AmazonCrossing. It’s a really special team, and I love how translations are able to bring people together across borders and cultures through the universal power of storytelling. It’s another form of diplomacy in my mind. I’m also a complete book worm, so I’ve basically landed my dream job.

What do you love about The London Book Fair?

I love the focus that LBF places on translation, especially through the Literary Translation Centre. It’s really special among book fairs to have a dedicated space to gather and shine a light on the important work translators do. I’m looking forward to the conversations we’ll be having there this year, and to catching up with everyone.

What has been your most successful piece of business, or contact made, at The London Book Fair?

I got to meet and have dinner with author Andrei Gelasimov. He’s an incredibly talented and well-regarded writer who has won multiple prizes in Russia, and we’ve published five of his books, all translated by the phenomenal Marian Schwartz. So I was thrilled for the opportunity on the professional level, and it turns out that he’s also an incredibly warm, funny human being. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a more memorable night of storytelling and humour. That’s one of the most wonderful things about working in international publishing and attending fairs like LBF – you’re able to meet people from around the world that are all connected by their passion for stories.


At The London Book Fair 2018, joins us for the AmazonCrossing Translator Celebration in the Literary Translation Centre. 

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