Note: Mason, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, was a 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award winner.
Alane Mason, a vice president and senior editor at W.W. Norton & Co. of New York City, is founder and president of Words Without Borders.
The organization translates into English, publishes and promotes the work of writers from around the world. Her motivation was the realization that most of the world’s great contemporary literature is inaccessible to readers whose only language is English. She cites a 1999 study by the National Endowment for the Arts showing that while half of all books published in English are translated into other languages, only 3 percent of the world’s literature is translated into English. Since 2003, Words has supported translation and publication of more than 1,100 pieces from more than 110 countries.Words also is developing an education program to broaden secondary and college students’ perspectives.
Mason graduated in 1986 from Carolina with a bachelor of arts degree with honors in creative writing and highest honors in English from the College.
Before joining Norton, she worked at Harcourt & Brace Co., where she acquired and edited David Guterson’s international best-seller Snow Falling on Cedars and Carolina classmate Randall Kenan’s Let the Dead Bury Their Dead and Other Stories.