The goal of Three Percent is to be “a destination for readers, editors, and translators interested in finding out about modern and contemporary international literature.”
Originating at the University of Rochester, the website got its name through the sad fact that only about three percent of all books published in the U.S. are translations of works originally published in other languages.
“To remain among the world’s best educated readers, English speakers must have access to the world’s great literatures,” notes the site’s home page. “It is a historical truism and will always remain the case that some of the best books ever written were written in a language other than English.”
So true! To further its philosophy, Three Percent established Open Letter, a nonprofit publisher dedicated entirely to publishing literature in translation.