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13 Books by Women Writers to add to your 2017 Reading List for #WITMonth

8th August, 2017

13 Books for Women in Translation Month #WITMonth

August! It is that time of the year to celebrate ‘Women Writers in Translation’. This tag which has now become a movement in itself is created by Meytal Radzinski

You can follow the updates from readers all around the world using the hashtags #WITMonth and #womenintranslation on Twitter and other social media. Here are a few releases of 2017 to add to your reading list.

Women in Translation #WiTMonth : Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin

1. Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell

Riverhead Books (January, 2017)

-A woman on her death bed tells her story.

-Shortlisted for Man Booker International prize 2017

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: Record of a night too brief by Hiromi Kawakami

2. Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami

Translated from the Japanese by Lucy North

Pushkin Press; January, 2017 (first published in 1996)

-Three stories, surreal in nature, about love, longing and disappearance.

– Won the Akutagawa Prize in 1996.

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg

3. Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg 

Translated from the Polish by Eliza Marciniak

Portobello Books; Januray, 2017 (first published in 2014)

-Coming of age story set  in rural Poland, with a tone of nostalgia sprinkled with gritty passages (Check review)

-Longlisted for Man Booker International Prize, 2017

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth : The Gringo Champion

4. The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen

Translated from the Spanish by Andrea Rosenberg

Europa editions; January, 2017

-Story of migration from Mexico to the United States

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth : Things we lost in the fire by Mariana Enríquez

5. Things we lost in the fire by Mariana Enríquez

Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell

Hogarth press; February, 2017 (first published in 2014)

-Stories of violence and macabre set in contemporary Argentina

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: The poison of love by K. R. Meera

6. The Poison of Love by K. R. Meera

Translated from the Malayalam by Ministhy. S.

Penguin India; February, 2017

– The story of Tulsi who elopes with a womanizer and later finds her comfort in a spiritual life (Check review)

-K. R. Meera is also included in the list of Contemporary Indian Women Writers who should be on your Reading List.

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: Mirror shoulder, signal

7. Mirror, Shoulder Signal by Dorthe Nors

Translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra

Pushkin press; February, 2017 (first published in 2016)

– One woman’s journey in search of herself.

The impossible fairytale by Han yujoo

8. The Impossible Fairytale by Han Yujoo

Translated by Janet Hong

Graywolf Press, March 2017

-Story of two girls with recurring themes of violence and death

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: Eve out of her ruins by Ananda Devi

9. Eve out of her ruins by Ananda Devi

Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman

Speaking Tiger; April, 2017

-Awarded the Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie as the best book written in French outside of France.

-Shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award 2017

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth : Notes of a crocodile by Qiu Miaojin

10. Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin

Translated by Bonnie Huie

NYRB; May, 2017 (first published in 1994)

Set in 1990s in Taiwan, this is the coming-of-age of a group of queer friends.

The nakano thrift shop by Hiromi Kawakami

11. The Nakano Thrift shop by Hiromi Kawakami

Translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell

Europa editions; June, 2017 (first published in 2005)

– The four people associated with a quaint second hand store get close to each other in a matter of days. (Check review)

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: A Night with a Black Spider- Stories by Ambai

12. A Night with a Black Spider: Stories by Ambai

Translated from the Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan

Speaking Tiger books: June, 2017

-Stories that combine myth and tradition into real life.

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: The girl who is getting married

13. The Girl who is getting Married by Aoko Matsuda

Translated from the Japanese by Angus Turvill

Strangers Press, 2017

-The narrator recalls her memories as she climbs each set of stairs to the apartment of her friend who is getting married.

Anticipated reads for the latter half of 2017

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: Mirror of the Darkest night

Seagull books

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth : The white book by Han Kang

Portobello books

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: Abandon

Tilted Axis Press

Women in Translation Month #WITMonth: The House with the Stained Glass Windows

Maclehose Press

More Lists?

Let's discuss

Do you make a conscious effort to include translated books in your reading pile? Have you read any of these? Comment below with your recommendations for Women in Translation Month.


This Post Has 46 Comments
  1. Just read The Girl Who Is Getting Married and really enjoyed it! Also part of that series are several other Japanese women writers: Yoko Tawada, Kyoko Yoshida, Misumi Kubo and Nao-Cola Yamazaki.

  2. Thank you for writing this post! I do make an effort to read works in translation. However, I often struggle to find solid translations. I feel like character-based languages (as opposed to Latin-based) in translation always leave me questioning: What am I missing from this translation? Is the original text more beautiful? It makes me want to learn new languages, always.

    I’ve added The Nakano Thrift Shop and The Poison of Love to my TBR. I’m super excited to read them both! I’ll have to look into more women in translation for this month, too.

    1. You are welcome, Jackie. I can understand the yearning to learn new languages. The joy of reading in the original language is a wonderful one indeed. I hope you will love Kawakami and K. R. Meera if you pick them up one day.

  3. I loved the Nors and both the Kawakamis, particularly The Nakano Thrift Shop. I have my eye on the Greg and I’d like to recommend Marie Sizun’s very powerful novella Her Father’s Daughter.

  4. Thank you for compiling this wonderful list Resh! I have added Fever Dream & The Poison of Love to my TBR & since I own a copy of Things We Lost in the Fire, I made a note to get a move on with actually reading it lol. The Posion of Love looks like one I’d really enjoy! *excited emoji*

    1. That is a difficult question. Usually I pick a book if the blurb intrigues me. I have a soft corner for books in Turkish and Japanese; so that is another factor. I also rely on reviews of the books to see if the book is something that I might enjoy.

  5. I don’t know if you’ve read Kawakami’s earlier book, Strange Weather in Tokyo (also released as The Briefcase in some countries)? But if not, I would definitely recommend it. Her books always look so appealing too – I love the cover of Record of a Night Too Brief.

  6. Thank you for your selection as usual, Resh.
    Am I mistaken, or is there a wealth of modern Indian writers?
    (Though how Ananda Devi is translated from french beats me)
    We have no access to them whatsoever.
    I think one most “modern” Indian writers I have on my shelves must be Kamala Markandaya. 🙂 (Well Roy too)
    It must be very… enticing to see new writers emerge in India?

    1. Actually Ananda Devi is from Mauritius and not from India. Only her origins are from India so she is definitely more comfortable writing in the languages she has used more. So I was not surprised at that fact. I have not read Kamala Markandaya. I hope you will enjoy the read.

      1. Mauritius? There is a large Indian community I believe. JMG Le Clézio has a Mauritian passport. Have you read him?
        You might want to try Markandaya. She is one of those Indian women who opened avenues. And her books are classics now. (I might actually re-read them) Have a lovely week-end Resh. (How would you say that in Malayalam?) 😉

        1. Ah well, that is a difficult question because even though the greeting can be said in Malayalam, we don’t usually say it. If the need arises we would just say it in English. Just like how ‘hello’ is used when we meet a new person.

          1. Interesting. “Hello” it is then. And a beautiful day to you. (Well, you’re about 11 hours ahead from me, so it really is: “Good night. Bonne nuit”. 🙂

  7. This is such a wonderful, wonderful list. I am bookmarking it, because I have not read many translated works, and I was looking for recommendations, so this is kind of perfect.

  8. I genuinely don’t think about it! I love your book lists because they force me to do just that. You are one my most trusted book recommendation makers!

  9. I’m starting to make a more conscious effort to add diverse to my reading and YOUR BLOG HELPS SO MUCH. Especially since you include lovely lists like this with fascinating recommendations – I only wish my library carried more than 3 of these books. Thank you for the assistance:)

  10. This is wonderful, thank you for sharing! I love reading translated books, it feels like a little glimpse of another culture or place that I might otherwise never visit or learn about. They seem to be hard to find though, or maybe I’m not looking properly? I’ve added The Nakano Thrift Shop to my list already.

    I recently read The Great Passage by Shion Miura and translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. It’s about a group of people in a publishing company in Japan creating a dictionary. It’s a lovely book, with some really interesting discussions about the meaning of words.

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