Take That, OFAC

The Association of American Publishers is offering grants to publishers interested in releasing three Iranian novels in translation here in the U.S.

The association announced recently that it would give $10,000 each to publishers who would release “The Drowned” by Moniru Ravanipur, “The Empty Palace of Soluch” by Mahmoud Dawlatabadi and “Christine and Kid” by Houshang Golshiri. Money would be divided among translation costs, promotion and publicity.

“We got the idea a few years ago when some Iranian writers visited the United States and complained that works from Iran were not available in translation,” Jeri Laber, a human rights activist and consultant to the association’s International Freedom to Publish Committee, said Monday.

The grant is funded by the Open Society Institute, which is part of billionaire philanthropist George Soros’s foundation.