Women In Translation Month

August is already preparing to knock on our doors and we know what this means, right? It’s Women In Translation Month, the time when we discover – and re-read (he, he, he!) outstanding women whose work has been translated into English from every corner of our beautiful planet. These are the books I’ve read and adored this year.

Title: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Writer: Cho Nam – Joo

Translated by: Jamie Chang

Country: South Korea

Rating: 5 stars

Do you find the strength to stand up or do you let yourself be smothered by habit and shameless direct and indirect blackmailing and abusing? This outstanding novel leaves little room for hope…

Title: The Lost Soul

Writer: Olga Tokarczuk, illustrations by Joanna Concejo

Translated by: Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Country: Poland

Rating: 5 stars

Olga Tokarczuk creates a beautiful fable about a young man who realizes he has lost the only thing that really matters. His soul. 

Title: A Sunday in Ville- d’Avray

Writer: Dominique Barbéris

Translated by: John Cullen

Country: France

Rating: 5 stars

I wanted to live inside this book. I cannot praise it enough. The beauty, the nostalgia, the melancholy, the quiet, the simplicity and elegance make you grateful for being alive and blessed to read such literary marvels, such works that are made of whatever our souls are made of.

Title: The Dangers of Smoking In Bed

Writer: Mariana Enriquez

Translated by: Megan McDowell

Country: Argentina

Rating: 5 stars

Mariana Enriquez’s stories are merciless. They are brutal, raw, savage. They haunt you, they violate your mind and your soul. They are full of terrors, despair, obsession. Ghosts are desperate. Humans are cruel. Teenage dreams are burnt, children are threatened, women and men find themselves in limbo. This is the marriage of the macabre, the lyrical, the violent. This is a cry and a howl. A dance of demons staring into our souls. And it is magnificent.

Title: Wild Swims

Writer: Dorthe Nors

Translated by: Misha Hoekstra

Country: Denmark

Rating: 5 stars

In 14 stories, set in Denmark, Norway, England, Canada and the USA, Dorthe Nors explores the entire spectrum of the human soul with exquisite clarity and a wondrous mixture of compassion and honesty. These aren’t extraordinary people put in extreme situations. They are women and men that have loved and hated, believed and expected.

Title: There Once Lived A Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They Moved Back In

Writer: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

Translated by: Anna Summers

Country: Russia

Rating: 5 stars

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s stories in this volume are part of an absurd, nightmarish universe. Except that this ‘’universe’’ is very, very real. This is the living Hell of the Soviet society, built on lies, treachery, corruption and violence.

Title: Island

Writer: Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen

Translated by: Caroline Waight

Country: Denmark/ The Faroe Islands

Rating: 5 stars

Stories of witches and phantom whalers, of the hulder folk and the myths about the islands, tales of the stories and the moss, of the mists and the fjords, of floating islands and secretive places like Mykines, of the festivities of Midsummer’s Eve, in the scorching wind and the midnight sun, a woman is trying to explore questions of identity and belonging in a contemporary, lyrical Norse Odyssey.


Title: It Shall Be of Jasper and Coral and Love-Across-A-Hundred-Lives

Writer: Werewere Liking

Translated by: Marjolijm de Jager

Country: Cameroon

”The West African writer, painter, playwright, and director Werewere Liking is considered one of the best literary interpreters of the postcolonial condition in Africa. Her first work to be translated into English, these two novels spare nothing in their satirical portraits of the patriarchal view of African society as they experiment radically with the novel form.”

Title: Moonbath

Writer: Yanick Lahens

Translated by: Emily Gogolac

Country: Haiti

”The award-winning saga of a peasant family living in a small Haitian village, recounting through stories of tradition and superstition, voodoo, romance, and violence, the lives of four generations of women struggling to hold the family together in a volatile , roiling landscape of political turmoil and economic suffering.”

Title: Things We Lost In The Fire

Writer: Mariana Enriquez

Translated by: Megan McDowell

Country: Argentina

”In these wildly imaginative, devilishly daring tales of the macabre, internationally bestselling author Mariana Enriquez brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory.”

Title: Earthlings

Writer: Sayaka Murata

Translated by: Ginny Tapley Takemori

Country: Japan

”Natsuki isn’t like the other girls. She has a wand and a transformation mirror. She might be a witch, or an alien from another planet. Together with her cousin Yuu, Natsuki spends her summers in the wild mountains of Nagano, dreaming of other worlds. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the two children forever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what.”

Title: There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself

Writer: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

Translated by: Anna Summers

Country: Russia

”In these dark, dreamlike love stories with a twist, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya tells of strange encounters in claustrophobic communal apartments, ill-fated holiday romances, office trysts, schoolgirl crushes, tentative courtships, rampant infidelity, tender devotion and terrifying madness. ”

Title: Hurricane Season

Writer: Fernanda Melchor

Translated by: Sophie Hughes

Country: Mexico

”The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse – by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals – propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumours and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering on new details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Fernanda Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters that most would write off as utterly irredeemable, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.”

Title: Strange Weather In Tokyo

Writer: Hiromi Kawakami

Translated by: Allison Markin Powell

Country: Japan

”Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, ‘Sensei’, in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, and as the seasons pass – from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms – Tsukiko and Sensei come to develop a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love. ”


One Comment

  1. These sound amazing. I’m particularly intrigued by Islands. I’ve always been curious about the Faroes.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.