Notwithstanding the runaway success of Stieg Larsson’s “Girl’’ trilogy, literature translated into English is but a swirl in the sea of poetry and fiction written in other languages. Among the handful of American publishers devoted to books in translation is Zephyr Press in Brookline, which specializes in works from Russia, Eastern Europe, and China.
Its newest book is “Snow Plain,’’ a collection of stories by Chinese writer Duo Duo, who recently won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Past winners of the prize include Gabriel García Márquez and Octavio Paz. The settings of Duo’s stories — England, the United States, Canada, and his hometown of Beijing — reflect his peripatetic existence during 15 years in exile, and his storytelling asserts, as translator John A. Crespi writes, that “we ought never be completely sure where the here and the now really are.’’
Readings provide additional opportunities to become acquainted with the work of writers from other nations. On Thursday, Ilan Stavans, editor of the “Norton Anthology of Hispanic Literature,’’ will present Carlos Yushimito, a Peruvian-born writer of Japanese descent, at 7 p.m. at Porter Square Books in Cambridge. Yushimito, a graduate student at Brown University, was among the 22 Spanish-language writers under age 35 heralded in the winter issue of Granta as rising literary stars.
A week later, on Jan. 20, translators of Russian writers Daniil Kharms and Elena Fanailova and Srecko Kosovel of Slovenia will join together at 7 p.m. at Brookline Booksmith. The translators, all affiliated with Ugly Duckling Presse in Brooklyn, will read prose and poems and talk about the art of their craft.
DeNapoli joined what is still the world’s largest animal rescue, a story she tells in “The Great Penguin Rescue’’ (Free Press). Upon walking into an enormous warehouse filled with penguins, she was overwhelmed by the stench and the silence. Penguins are normally gregarious but these creatures were completely traumatized.
The rehabilitation was a big success and the first penguins were returned to the wild after three months of treatment. Yet the broader outlook for penguins is grim. Overfishing and temperature increases associated with global warming are threatening their food supply. Fourteen of the world’s 18 species of penguins are threatened or endangered.
DeNapoli, who travels globally to teach audiences about penguins, is donating a portion of the proceeds from book sales to penguin rescue groups.
■ “The Inner Circle’’ by Brad Meltzer (Grand Central)
■ “The Sentry’’ by Robert Crais (Putnam)
Jan Gardner can be reached at JanLGardner@yahoo.com.