Suggestions for reading women in translation: #WITMonth 2018

One week into Women in Translation Month and I’ve yet to jump into the conversation. I’ve been reading German author Esther Kinsky, her novel River for review and Summer Resort for background. However, since the North American release of River is not until early September, I don’t know if my review will actually run this month. But then, if it isn’t possible to pack August with translations of female writers, it is a consideration that can be worked into one’s reading year round. To that end I thought I’d share some of the posts I’ve written about works by women in translation that I’ve enjoyed since last August:

A Working Woman — Elvira Navarro (Spain, tr. Christina MacSweeney)
The Iliac Crest — Cristina Rivera Garza (Mexico, tr. Sarah Booker)
Malina — Ingeborg Bachmann (Austria/German, tr. Philip Boehm)
Hair Everywhere — Tea Tulić (Croatia, tr. Coral Petkovich)
Endless Summer —Madame Nielsen (Denmark, tr. Gaye Kynoch) – linked to external review
SS Proleterka — Fleur Jaeggy (Italy, tr. Alistair McEwen)

Before Lyricism — Eleni Vakalo (Greece, tr. Karen Emmerich)
Third-Millenium Heart — Ursula Andkjær Olsen (Denmark, tr. Katrine Øgaard Jensen) – linked to an external review

This year I’ve gathered a stack of possibilities—not that I expect to get through even half of them, but I like to have choice. And, because there is a lot going on in my life these days and a handful of other English language titles vying for my attention, I’ve selected relatively slender fare. Finally, because it is still Spanish and Portuguese Literature Months, this collection includes five Spanish, one Portuguese,one Bengali, two French, and three German language books.

And because poetry occupies more of my readerly attention these days, I’ve pulled out two poetic contenders:

Negative Space is translated from Albanian, Hospital Series from Italian. Both titles are from New Directions.

Author: roughghosts

Literary blog of Joseph Schreiber. Writer. Reader. Editor. Photographer.

12 thoughts on “Suggestions for reading women in translation: #WITMonth 2018”

  1. I like this post because, like you, I read women in translation all year round (six so far this year). So I’m reading Our Life in the Forest by Marie Darrieussecq, (translated Penny Hueston) for #WITMonth because I support its goals but I don’t feel any pressure over it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, but some of the books in this pile I’ve wanted to read for some time and I’ve been thinking well, I’ll save it for August—so now that it’s August I should try to get to a few of them! I’ve been so busy with this one major review I just submitted that I feel relieved and look forward to reading with no deadlines or commitments looming!


      1. Not too much yet. The real push will be in September. I’ll probably move in the last week of the month. I actually just cleared the conditions on the purchase tonight, so now it’s a done deal and I can get serious. First call: junk removal!


  2. Like Lisa, I admire the fact that you read a lot of books by women in translation throughout the year, so much so that it’s become an inherent part of your natural pattern of reading. By contrast, I haven’t done so well this year – only one WIT-related book in the months between this August and last – but that’s partly because I’ve been trying to read from my shelves instead of buying more books. You have some interesting choices in your pile of possibilities for the months ahead. Plenty of great reading there, no doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Although I don’t always manage to read many women in translation in August, I am conscious of expanding my selection. I have quite a few more but size mattered for this pile (hoping that increases my likelihood of getting through a couple).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I try to read WIT year round but haven’t read as much this year so August was good motivation to see what I had on the shelves, so I’m enjoying the variety. Two French translations have been excellent, Mend the Living and Disoriental.
    From your pile I have Brothers on Ice which looks interesting and unique.

    Liked by 1 person

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