Olga Tokarczuk’s “Flights” was a labor of love for Croft, who spent a decade trying to find a publisher for it. It was finally released by Fitzcarraldo Editions in Britain in 2017 and Riverhead in the United States in 2018, and was celebrated as a masterpiece. The novel won the International Booker Prize and became a finalist for the National Book Award for translated literature, helping Tokarczuk, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize, gain a much larger global audience.
But Croft also felt a twinge of disappointment that after devoting years to the project, her name wasn’t on the book’s cover. Last summer, she decided to make a bold demand:
“I’m not translating any more books without my name on the cover,” she wrote on Twitter. “Not only is it disrespectful to me, but it is also a disservice to the reader, who should know who chose the words they’re going to read.”
Her statement drew wide support in the literary world. Croft published an open letter with the novelist Mark Haddon, calling on publishers to credit translators on covers. The letter has drawn nearly 2,600 signatures…
… For Croft, the campaign isn’t just a plea for attention and credit. Croft also believes that highlighting translators’ names will bring more transparency to the process and help readers evaluate their work, the same way they might assess an audiobook narration for not just the content but for the performance.