7 Books for Women in Translation Month

August is Women in Translation Month (WIT Month), a time in which readers are encouraged to discover books by female writers whose original work was written in a language that is not English.Did you know that only 2-3% of titles published each are translated works those written by women make up about only 26% of that small amount of translated writing? So, with that in mind, we’ve curated a list of women writers in translation and what’s more, they’re all translated by women too!

The Life of Elves – Muriel Barbery (Translated by Alison Anderson)

Originally written in French but set in both Burgundy and Italy, The Life of Elves is an enchanting and magical fantasy tale from the author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

The Life of Elves

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Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories – Mariana Enriquez (Translated by Megan McDowell)

Authored by Argentine journalist and novelist, Mariana Enriquez, Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories is a short story collection originally written in Spanish and translated into English in 2017. A thrilling and terrifying collection, Things We Lost in the Fire takes the reader into the world of Argentine Gothic.

Things We Lost in the Fire

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My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante (Translated by Anne Goldstein)

From one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is the first novel in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. A heartening novel about a friendship that lasts a lifetime, as two girls growing up on tough streets on the outskirts of Naples.

My Brilliant Friend

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Convenience Store Women – Sayaka Murata (Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori)

A Japanese novel written by Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Women captures the atmosphere of the familiar store that is very much a part of life in Japan. The novel won the Akutagawa Prize in 2016 and was Foyles’ Fiction Book of the Year in 2018.

Convenience Store Women

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Fever Dream – Samantha Schweblin (Translated by Megan McDowell)

A 2014 horror novel written by Argentine Spanish language author, Samanta Schweblin, Fever Dream takes inspiration from the environmental issues Argentina faces to create a phycological work of fiction. The book was translated in 2017 by Megan McDowell and was shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize that same year.

 

Fever Dream

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Umami – Laia Jufresa (Translated by Sophie Hughes)

Laia Jufresa is a Mexican-born writer who grew up in Veracruz, Mexico and Paris, France. Her début novel, Umani is an eccentric story of mortality and loss told from the perspective of five neighbouring houses in Mexico City, each named after tastes; Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Sour and Umani. Originally written in Spanish, Umani has been translated into multiple languages including English by Sophie Hughes.

Umami

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The Vegetarian – Han Kang (Translated by Deborah Smith)

The Vegetarian is a three-part novel written by South Korean author Han Kang and first published in 2007. The book is based on Kang’s 1997 short story, The Fruit of My Woman, and is set in Seoul, telling the story of a graphic artist whose decision to stop eating meat leads to devasting consequences. The Vegetarian is Kang’s second book to be translated into English and in 2016 it won the Man Booker International Prize.

The Vegetarian

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