Women in Translation month is August. Do you know what you’re reading for it yet? Women in Translation month was founded by Meytal Radzinski (who blogs and tweets) as a way to address the gender imbalance in the books that get translated. It’s been going on since 2014 and, from what I can see, gets more and more attention each year, and deservedly so. It’s fun to see what people are reading, learn about new authors, and read some great books.
So now I’m going to think about what I might read this August. Here are some possibilities:
- That Time of Year by Marie NDiaye, translated by Jordan Stump. This one comes out in September, but I’m lucky enough to have an advanced copy on my shelves right now.
- The Cheffe by Marie NDiaye, translated by Jordan Stump. Yes, I like NDiaye a lot. I’ve read three of her books so far and found each one strange, eerie, and fascinating.
- Love by Hanne Orstavik, translated by Martin Aitken. I know nothing about this author or book, but I’ve heard some stellar recommendations. I picked it up on a recent book-buying spree (back when browsing in bookstores was a thing!).
- River by Esther Kinsky, translated by Iain Galbraith. I’m currently reading Grove by Esther Kinsky and finding it absorbing and meditative.
- Exposition by Nathalie Leger, translated by Natasha Lehrer. This is another book that isn’t out yet and that I have an advanced copy of (sorry!), but I might also pick up her book Suite for Barbara Loden, which is available. These are published by Dorothy Project, a very small publisher — two books a year — that I love.
- Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth. This one won the 2019 Man Booker International Prize and is the first novel by an Omani women to be translated into English.
- The Book of Anna by Carmen Boullosa, translated by Samantha Schnee. I read Boullosa’s novel Before a few years back and found it strange and wonderful. The Book of Anna sort of plays around with the story of Anna Karenina.
- Family Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg, translated by Jenny McPhee. Natalia Ginzburg is a writer I’ve long thought I’d love, but, except for one essay, I haven’t read her. You know those writers you’re always planning to read? It’s nice to finally get around to them.
I won’t be reading all these books in August, but I think these make a pretty good pile to choose from. If you have plans for Women in Translation month, I’d love to hear them!