As we celebrate Women in Translation Month, we’re looking back at exciting works by women writers from around the world published this past year. Here are 31 to add to your reading list for #WITMonth.
1947: Where Now Begins by Elisabeth Åsbrink
Translated from the Swedish by Fiona Graham
Other Press, 2018
Swedish journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink chronicles the pivotal post-World War II year in a global portrait that incorporates both personal narratives and major political events.
Abandon by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay
Translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha
Tilted Axis Press, 2017
Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay wrestles with the relationship between creativity and motherhood in the story a young writer seeking to free herself from societal expectations.
Anatomy. Monotony. by Edy Poppy
Translated from the Norwegian by May-Brit Akerholt
Dalkey Archive Press, 2018
Edy Poppy’s debut has inspired comparisons to Marguerite Duras in its depiction of sex, love, obsession, and the ruthless nature of artistic creation.
Bad Words by Ilse Aichinger
Translated from the German by Uljana Wolf & Christian Hawkey
Seagull Books, 2018
This selection of short prose by postwar experimental Austrian writer Isle Aichinger investigates the politics and paradoxes of language.
Blue Self-Portrait by Noémi Lefebvre
Translated from the French by Sophie Lewis
Transit Books, 2018
While in flight from Berlin to Paris, a woman meditates on her affair with a pianist-composer in Noémi Lefevre’s inventive and nuanced exploration of art, history, and relationships.
Bride and Groom by Alisa Ganieva
Translated from the Russian by Dr. Carol Apollonio
Deep Vellum, 2018
In Alisa Ganieva’s novel, a young couple struggles to build a life together in spite of traditional family expectations and religious and cultural conflicts.
Brother in Ice by Alicia Kopf
Translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem
And Other Stories, 2018
Alicia Kopf combines research notes, travelogue, and fictionalized diary entries in this coming-of-age reflection on relationships, art, science, and the metaphysical.
Chintungo: The Story of Someone Else by Soledad Marambio
Translated from the Spanish by K.T. Billey
Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017
In her second poetry collection, Soledad Marambio attempts to piece together her family’s history and confronts the limitations of language and memory.
Cigarette Number 7 by Donia Kamal
Translated from the Arabic by Nariman Youssef
The American University in Cairo Press, 2018
In Donia Kamal’s novel, a young woman looks back on her fragmented childhood as she becomes involved in the Egyptian revolution in the present.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori
Grove Press, 2018
The quirky titular character of Sayaka Murata’s debut offers sharp insights on gender roles, conformity, and alienation against the backdrop of a 24-hour convenience store.
Disoriental by Négar Djavadi
Translated from French by Tina Kover
Europa Editions, 2018
In Négar Djavadi’s novel, a woman recounts her family’s exile from Tehran and her experience in Paris’s punk rock scene while grappling with her cultural and sexual identity.
The Emissary by Yoko Tawada
Translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani
New Directions, 2018
Children are born old and the elderly experience eternal youth in Yoko Tawada’s playful, dystopian reflection on our relationship with technology and the natural world.
Empty Set by Verónica Gerber Bicecci
Translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
Coffee House Press, 2018
Verónica Gerber Bicecci’s protagonist attempts to make sense of loss in this experimental meditation on the relationship between literature and art.
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
Translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft
Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017; Riverhead Books, 2018
Winner of the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, Olga Tokarczuk’s fragmentary novel traverses decades and continents in its exploration of travel, time, anatomy, and mortality.
Fox by Dubravka Ugrešic
Translated from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać & David Williams
Open Letter Books, 2018
Spanning time and place, Dubravka Ugrešic’s metafictional novel takes on loss, love, and migration, employing the shape-shifting fox of Eastern folklore as a central motif.
Hotel Silence by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
Translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon
Black Cat/Grove, 2018
In Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir’s novel, a handyman in the midst of an existential crisis seeks answers in a small-town hotel in an unnamed country.
The House by the River by Lena Manta
Translated from the Greek by Gail Holst-Warhaft
Amazon Crossing, 2017
Lena Manta’s novel tells the story of a widow and her five daughters as they come of age in and eventually leave their small home at the foot of Mt. Olympus in postwar Greece.
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha
Translated from the Portuguese by WWB’s own Eric M. B. Becker
Oneworld Publications, 2017
Martha Batalha’s sharp and witty debut novel follows two rebellious sisters in their searches for autonomy and self-realization in 1940s Brazil.
Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck
Translated from the Swedish by the author
Vintage Books, 2018
In this haunting, visceral, and absorbing collection of stories, Karin Tidbeck blends elements of literary sci-fi, fantasy, and mythology.
Little Beast by Julie Demers
Translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins, 2018
Coach House Books, 2018
A young girl navigates the perils of adolescence in Julie Demers’s evocative, surreal tale, set in the woods of Quebec in the 1930s.
Little Reunions by Eileen Chang
Translated from the Chinese by Jane Weizhen Pan & Martin Merz
NYRB Classics, 2018
Eileen Chang’s 1976 novel tells the story of a woman’s tumultuous relationships with her husband and her mother against the backdrop of a politically turbulent Shanghai.
The Living Theatre by Bianca Tarozzi
Translated from the Italian by Jeanne Foster & Alan Williamson
BOA Editions, 2017
In this bilingual edition, Bianca Tarozzi’s narrative poems draw inspiration from her own experiences growing up in Italy during and following World War II.
Neapolitan Chronicles by Anna Maria Ortese
Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein & Jenny McPhee
New Vessel Press, 2018
This collection of Anna Maria Ortese’s fiction and reportage, the original Italian version of which was edited by Italo Calvino, creates a vibrant and layered portrait of postwar Naples.
North Station by Bae Suah
Translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith
Open Letter Books, 2017
In this captivating, experimental collection of stories, Bae Suah weaves together compelling narratives from disjointed memories, dreams, and impressions.
Pearls on a Branch: Oral Tales by Najla Jraissaty Khoury
Translated from the Arabic by Inea Bushnaq
Archipelago Books, 2018
Najla Jraissaty Khoury compiled this collection based on the stories she was told while traveling through villages, air raid shelters, and refugee camps in Lebanon.
Purifications or the Sign of Retaliation by Myriam Fraga
Translated from the Portuguese by Chloe Hill
White Pine Press, 2017
Myriam Fraga’s poetry collection blends diverse mythologies, Brazil’s natural and urban landscapes, and timeless questions of meaning and existence.
Savage Theories by Pola Oloixarac
Translated from the Spanish by Roy Kesey
Soho Press, 2017
The stories of a couple navigating Buenos Aires’s underbelly, an Argentine academic’s ambitions and seductions, and a 1917 Dutch anthropologist’s research converge in Pola Oloixarac’s debut.
Sexographies by Gabriela Wiener
Translated from the Spanish by Lucy Greaves & Jennifer Adcock
Restless Books, 2018
Peruvian journalist Gabriela Wiener’s first-person accounts of her experiences with sex, identity, and gender illuminate the complex relationship between the personal and the political.
The Stone Building and Other Places by Aslı Erdoğan
Translated from the Turkish by Sevinç Türkkan
City Lights Publishers, 2017
The interconnected stories in Aslı Erdoğan’s collection feature a diverse cast of characters navigating illness, exile, trauma, and incarceration in contemporary Turkey.
Three Plastic Rooms by Petra Hůlová
Translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker
Jantar Publishing, 2018
Narrated by a wisecracking, philosophical prostitute, Petra Hůlová’s seemingly humorous novel is a powerful reflection on sexuality, feminism, aging, and materialism.
Waiting for Tomorrow by Nathacha Appanah
Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan
Graywolf Press, 2018
Nathacha Appanah’s novel follows the trajectory of two artists whose family falls apart after a mysterious tragedy involving their daughter and the woman hired to care for her.
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