Women in Translation Month: Book Recommendations

August 02, 2020

If you've signed up to my mailing list I'm sure many of us will be using Women in Translation Month you'll already know from the latest newsletter that August is my favourite month; all the best things that have happened to me have happened in August. But there's even more reason to love August: it's Women in Translation month!

Book blogger Meytal Radzinski started the initiative in 2014 and you can find tons of reading suggestion and a manifesto for the initiative on the Women in Translation Month Twitter account.

But before you head over the WIT page, here are some of the translated books by women authors I've recently read and reviewed for Destination Books.

Grove, Esther Kinsky
Trans. by Caroline Schmidt
Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2020

Fiction | Independent publishing

I'm sure many of us will be using Women in Translation Month as an excuse to add to our gorgeous Fitzcarraldo Editions collections as they offer so many great translated texts. I recently read and reviewed Grove for Destination Books subscribers.* It's an impressionistic, detailed, philosophical novel with vignettes that read like landscape paintings, set in wintry Italy and touching on bereavement, grief and memory. I recommend reading it when you have time to focus rather than dipping in and out. Subscribers can access the review through the link in your latest email from Destination Books. If you're new around here you can sign up and get instant access here.

Little Eyes, Samanta Schweblin
Trans. by Megan McDowell
Oneworld, 2020

Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin's latest novel is as eerie as you'd expect if you've read Mouthful of Birds: Scwheblin's short story collection. Little Eyes is about pet-like robots called kentukis which are the latest trend, fitted with cameras and purchased by households across the globe. Kentukis are controlled by anonymous and silent 'dwellers' meaning you never know who's watching. With dystopian/speculative vibes, the novel switches between several characters and their various experiences of this new technology: some of which are positive and heartwarming, others are disturbing. I loved this novel and you can read my full review here.

The Yogini, Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay
Trans. by Arunava Sinha
Titled Axis Press, 2019

Titled Axis has translated a few of Bengali author Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay's many novels and I've added them all to my reading list after reading The Yogini which stands out as one of my favourite reads in 2020 so far. It's an ambigous, fun but layered novel about an interesting female protagonist who is being stalked by a 'hermit' man who she thinks is a manifestation of her fate. Find out more about this great little novel in my full review here.

What are you reading for Women in Translation month? Let me know in the comments below.

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