Eight years later, Fitzcarraldo Editions seems far from a madman’s folly. It is one of Britain’s most talked-about publishing houses, with a reputation as the English-language imprint of choice for Nobel laureates. When the French writer Annie Ernaux was awarded the 2022 literature prize last week, she became Fitzcarraldo’s third author to gain the honor since the house’s founding, after Olga Tokarczuk, of Poland, in 2019, and Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarusian journalist and writer, in 2015. Fitzcarraldo Editions is also the British publisher for Jon Fosse, a Norwegian author and playwright, who is regularly among bookmakers’ favorites for the award. (It has also published one book by Elfriede Jelinek, although she received the Nobel in 2004, a decade before Fitzcarraldo began.)
And Fitzcarraldo is making waves outside the Nobel. Since 2017, a dozen of the house’s books, including Fernanda Melchor’s “Hurricane Season” and Maria Stepanova’s “In Memory of Memory,” have been nominated for the International Booker Prize, one of the highest-profile awards for translated fiction. In 2018, Tokarczuk’s “Flights” won that one, too.