August marks the annual observance of Women in Translation Month. This significant occasion highlights and advocates for the literary contributions of women writers across the globe who have had their works translated into various languages. This is an essential event because, currently, only approximately 30% of translated books in the English language have been written by women and an even smaller percentage by women of color. As a result, without translation services, we are deprived of an array of diverse voices, perspectives, and stories that have the potential to enhance our lives and challenge our preconceptions.
In this blog post, we will introduce you to five books written by women that have been translated into English and are worth reading this month or any month! These books span different genres, countries, and themes, but they all share one thing: they are written by talented women who deserve more recognition and readership.
1. Women in Translation: The Memory Police – Stephen Snyder
This captivating dystopian novel available thanks to Japanese translation chronicles the journey of a talented novelist stranded on an island with an eerie phenomenon. There, things inexplicably vanish, and the Memory Police impose a rule that compels people to forget them. Amidst this backdrop, the protagonist finds herself on a mission to save her editor, who retains memories of the lost things.
2. Women In Translation: Hurricane Season – Fernanda Melchor
This captivating literary work, whose Spanish translation was provided by Sophie Hughes, comprises eight distinct chapters, each featuring a narrator intricately linked to the shocking murder of a witch in a quaint Mexican village. The novel delves into the pervasive issues of brutality, destitution, dishonesty, gender-based discrimination, and the pervasive influence of myths and superstitions that significantly impact the daily existence of the characters.
3. Women In Translation: Disoriental – Négar Djavadi
This book follows Kimiâ Sadr, an Iranian in exile, as she reflects on her family’s past and her own identity while waiting in a fertility clinic in Paris. The book spans four generations of Iranian history and provides a compelling blend of history, politics, culture, and personal stories thanks in part to the power of French translation.
4. The Perfect Nanny
This psychological thriller follows the story of a nanny who kills two children and then delves into the events leading up to the tragedy. It examines themes of class, race, gender, motherhood, domesticity, and the dark side of human nature.
5. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
The narrative of this literary work centers around the life of Janina Duszejko, an elderly resident of a rural Polish village. She holds a deep passion for astrology and animals, which she cherishes dearly. However, when a series of high-profile individuals pass away under peculiar circumstances, her inquisitive nature leads her to investigate the matter using her unorthodox yet astute insights.
These are just some of the fantastic books by women writers that have been translated into English thanks to translation and localization services that you can enjoy this month. We hope you find something that sparks your interest and curiosity during WIT Month.
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