A small publishing house in Edmonton is trying to introduce readers to more works by writers whose first language is not English.
Laberinto Press claims to be the first publisher in Western Canada to do so.
Publisher Luciana Erregue-Sacchi launched Laberinto Press in 2020, just before the pandemic hit.
“It anchors the city and province to the world, rather than helping writers. It creates a broader sense of community and transcends borders,” she told CBC. AM from Edmonton.
An Argentinian-Canadian writer, Erregue-Sacchi felt there was a gap in the market for more diverse writers.
She discovered that Edmonton is home to authors from the Middle East, the Philippines, Latin America and Indigenous communities who connect to their home communities through their stories.
“I spotted the need to produce literature by writers from diverse cultures who do not pander to symbolism, but touch on the true diversity, multiplicity and complexity of human experience,” she said.
Erregue-Sacchi believes she is in a unique position as a writer and editor knowledgeable about the Canadian literary world.
“I think of all the opportunities that writers who don’t write in English, as a first language, have right now, in the city and in the province,” she said, noting that there is a great community of authors in Edmonton.
Laberinto = Spanish for labyrinth
Laberinto Press has published the first part of its Beyond anthology series in 2020.
Beyond the Food Court: An Anthology of Literary Kitchens was born out of an inspiration to approach food as a deeply diverse and personal experience, Erregue-Sacchi said.
“When you emigrate, part of the country comes with you. But you also love the country you’re in,” she said. “It’s like your heart expands, all of a sudden you feel at home in the world.”
The series is based on the five senses. Literary kitchens taste oriented. It was followed by 2021 Beyond the Gallery: An Anthology of Visual Encounters.
6:50Edmonton publishing house Laberinto Press expands work with writers whose first language is not English
Laberinto is the Spanish word for labyrinth. The name was a way for Erregue-Sacchi to integrate his Argentinian culture and identity into his publishing house.
The name was inspired by The garden of bifurcating paths, a short story by Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges. History is a metaphor of intersecting narratives.
“That’s what I want to accomplish with this publishing house,” Erregue-Sacchi said.
“We meet in stories and stories, then our paths part and our stories diverge.”
The maze is comforting, a place to get lost and find yourself, she says.
A small publishing house, Laberinto can only publish one book per year. His next offer, which is not part of the Beyond series is your ghost, a collection of short stories by Peruvian-American author Margarita Saona.
It will be available in 2023 as part of Laberinto’s World literature in translation series.