A list of Philippine novels in English translation

One of the two Filpino novels I have on my site
One of the two Filpino novels I have on my site

The blog In lieu of a field guide has published a list of Philippine novels in English translation. Always interested in novels in translation from countries which I know little about, I checked the nine novels on the list. Sadly, only the two José Rizal novels showed up on the site of a well-known online bookseller in the UK and one other in the US. Two others were held by the British Library and four others by the Library of Congress. However, generally, apart from the Rizal, these books are not easy to find. I only have two books on my Philippines page, both written in English and neither particularly easy to find. I note that I own thirteen novels from the Philippines, all originally written in English. Of course, I and other bloggers have mentioned this issue before. Even with the rise of online bookselling and ebooks, it does remain difficult to obtain novels from smaller countries. In a previous blog I mentioned the difficulty of obtaining Venezuelan novels. Michael Orthofer at the Literary Saloon has frequently mentioned the issue of translation from Indian languages, e.g. here. I can understand that for publishers and retailers selling books from these countries may not be profitable but, surely, with the rise of ebooks, it should become easier. I have managed to obtain many books written in Spanish purely because they are available in ebook form and therefore relatively cheap both to stock and acquire. The Philippines is very much an unknown in the UK and obviously is better-known in the US, being a former US colony. There is also a relatively large population of Filipinos in the US but only around 125,000 in the UK so access to Filipino culture in the UK is relatively limited. I hope that, with the rise of ebooks, many of the books on the list will eventually become available in the US and UK but I am not counting on it.

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