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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

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)

1 comment:

Bellezza Mjs said...

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.