My Book List for Women in Translation Month

August is Women in Translation Month, a movement originated by book blogger Meytal Radzinski in 2014 which she details here. Basically, it’s an effort to encourage and spotlight translated books by women which are severely underpublished as compared to men. Meytal has posted supporting statistics for the past year on her blog here.

2015 was the first year I participated in WIT month. I chose and read three books and enjoyed them all. Honestly, what initially drew me to this effort is that I enjoy reading about other cultures and hadn’t read many books by non-American authors. I didn’t even know where to look for a book list or reviews. In case that’s your problem as well, check out these two lists: here and here. I often buy my ebooks from Amazon and another way to find translated books is by clicking their “other books like this” link.

I’ve been perusing books and authors for a few days and have settled on four books to read during August. As much as I’d like to think I’d read more than four, I know my limitations!

My Mother is a River by Italian author Donatella Di Pietrantonio, translated by Franca Scurti Simpson – I actually found this book through posting a tweet asking for WIT book suggestions. Calisi Press replied suggesting this book and, after reading a synopsis of the story, I decided to buy it. mymother

Marie NDiaye Credit Catherine Hélie/via New York Times







Ladivine by French author Marie Ndiaye, translated by Jordan Stump – I learned about this book and author from Tony’s Reading List blog.

The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa  by Japanese author Chika Sagawa, translated by Sawako Nakayasu – I stumbled on this on Amazon while looking for translated poetry. I ordered the paper book and have peeked a bit inside. I can tell it’s a great choice.

The Lost Daughter by Italian author Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein – Again, Tony’s Reading List reminded me that I haven’t read this Ferrante book. I read the four books in the Neopolitan Series in late 2015/early 2016 and was ready for a break from the two protagonists by the end of the last book. lol. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them, I absolutely did, but I think maybe the story was stretched out just a little too long. JMO. Anyway, I plan to read Daughter last, just to be on the safe side.

Iza’s Ballad by Hungarian author Magda Szabo, translated by George Szirtes (pre-ordered, release date October 18) – So, when I decided to begin looking for books for this list I immediately searched Magda Szabo. I read her book The Wall last year and was just blown away by it. Her latest book, Iza’s Ballad, won’t be out until October but I wanted to list it here anyway. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

I encourage anyone reading this little post of mine to participate in WIT Month in some way. Even one book read is one more step toward showing the publishing world that readers want more translated books by women. Follow and participate on Twitter with the #WITMonth hashtag.


7 thoughts on “My Book List for Women in Translation Month

  1. I love #WITMonth and although I read a lot of women in translation throughout the year I love to pile up my books before August with the best of intentions to read as many as possible.

    Did you mean you have Magda Szabó’s The Door? It’s on my list for August and I can’t wait to read it. The Wall is also a fabulous book by the Austrian writer Marlen Haushofer, I have read that one and it was a 5 star read for me.

    I’m going to be reading Han Kang’s The Vegetarian as Human Acts was brilliant and with The Vegetarian becoming a literary prize winner… I have a couple of books by the excellent Maryse Condé (Guadeloupean writing in French) whose work I love, a Peirene Press book The Looking Glass Sisters by Norwegian Gohril Gabrielsen and a few others. I might get another Elena Ferrante to read too.

    Happy Reading!


    1. Claire, thank you so much for the book recs. The Vegetarian is on my TBR already but I’ll def check on the other ones. Yes, I do mean Szabo’s The Door. It’s one of the most well-written and engrossing books I’ve read – def a favorite. Please let me know how you liked it.
      I apologize for the late reply but my internet connection has been giving me fits lately. I couldn’t even open your comment until now. Crazy, huh?
      Thanks for stopping by – I’ll be visiting your blog soon!

      Liked by 1 person

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