Women in Translation Month

August has been declared Women in Translation Month. Personally I am more than happy to join in to assist with the exposure of female writers in languages other than English. As we know, the translated fiction front represents a minority of works seen on bookshelves and within that niche market we have approximately only 25% female representation. So “Women in Translation” represent the minority of a minority.
Personally I have been looking at more and more translated fiction, as I have found the quality of the works generally exceed the books written in my native tongue. When you think about it, logically a translated work would have a better likelihood of appealing, as a translator and publisher are less likely to look at releasing a work that is substandard in its own language, therefore the translation process acts as a filter for “garbage” works.
To think that only one in four translated books is from a female pen is astounding, and when I looked back at the last few years of translated awards I did find similar lack of representation everywhere I looked. To see more about the lack of exposure go to Biblio’s excellent blog post here.
Below is a list of works that I have previously reviewed at my blog by “women in translation”. I will only be reviewing female works (in translation) this month and am hoping to get through quite a few. Happy reading
Alice by Judith Hermann (translated by Margot Dembo)
thebriefcase – Hiromi Kawakami (aka Strange Weather in Tokyo) (translated by Allsion Markin Powell)

The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am – Kjersti A. Skomsvold (translated by Kerri A. Pierce)

The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller (translated by Philip Boehm)


The Diving Pool – Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder)


Ekaterini – Marija Knezevic (translated by Will Firth)

Back to Back – Julia Franck (translated by Anthea Bell)

The Mussel Feast – Birgit Vanderbeke (translated by Jamie Bulloch)

Revenge – Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder)

The Story Of A New Name – Elena Ferrante (Translated by Ann Goldstein)

My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante (translated by Ann Goldstein)

Commentary (A Tale) – Marcelle Sauvageot (translated by Christine Schwartz Hartley & Anna Moschovakis)

Death in the Museum of Modern Art – Alma Lazarevska (translated by Celia Hawkesworth)

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine – Alina Bronsky (translated by Tim Mohr)


One thought on “Women in Translation Month

  1. Your wonderful post makes me want to go through my library at home to see how many works of translation by women known. I would like to assemble such a list, for myself, of books I own and books I've reviewed which fit this category.

    I like your point that “garbage” literature is sort of naturally weeded out. Interesting, although I still consider Iraqi Christ garbage.

    Thanks for bringing WIT month to my attention. I would like to join if I wasn't already committed to reading Murakami's latest for Japanese Literature Challenge 8.


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