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)