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25 Recent Works by Women Writers to Read for #WITmonth

By Jessie Chaffee

As we celebrate Women in Translation month, we’re looking back at exciting works by women writers from around the world published this past year. Here are 25 to add to your reading list for #WITmonth.

Heavens on Earth by Carmen Boullosa
Translated from the Spanish by Shelby Vincent
Deep Vellum Publishing, 2017

Leading Mexican writer Carmen Boullosa’s latest novel features three narrators from different historical eras who, interacting over space and time, try to preserve history.

Read an excerpt from Carmen Boullosa’s Texas: The Great Theft



Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi
Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
Deep Vellum Publishing, 2016

Winner of the 2017 CLMP Firecracker Award, Ananda Devi’s novel follows four young Mauritians attempting to break free of the country’s cycles of violence and poverty.

Read a short story by Ananda Devi



City Folk and Country Folk by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya
Translated from the Russian by Nora Seligman Favorov
Columbia University Press, 2017

Originally written under a male pseudonym and now translated into English for the first time, nineteenth-century writer Sofia Khvoshchinskaya’s novel is a satirical tale of 1860s Russia.




A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska
Translated from the Macedonian by Christina Kramer
Two Lines Press, 2016

In Lidija Dimkovska’s novel, twin sisters conjoined at the head come of age in Yugoslavia as Eastern Europe transitions from communism to democracy.

Read a poem by Lidija Dimkovska



Land of Love and Ruins by Oddný Eir
Translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton
Restless Books, 2016

Winner of the EU Prize for Literature, Oddný Eir’s semiautobiographical novel follows a writer’s return home to Reykjavik to excavate her grandmother’s past.

Read a review of Land of Love and Ruins



Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
Hogarth, 2017

Exploring inequality, violence, desire, and the macabre, Mariana Enriquez’s short stories create a powerful and hypnotic portrait of contemporary Argentina.

Read an essay by Mariana Enriquez



Landing by Laia Fàbregas
Translated from the Spanish by Samantha Schnee
Hispabooks, 2016

In Barcelona-based Spanish writer Laia Fàbregas’s novel, a young Dutch woman seeks to unravel the mystery of the elderly Spanish man whose death she witnesses during a flight.

Read an excerpt from Landing



Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg
Translated from the Polish by Eliza Marciniak
Portobello Books (UK)/Transit Books (US), 2017

Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, celebrated Polish poet Wioletta Greg’s fiction debut depicts the social and political dramas of an agricultural community in 1980s Poland.

Read an interview with translator Eliza Marciniak



The Weight of Paradise by Iman Humaydan
Translated from the Arabic by Michelle Hartman
Interlink Publishing, 2016

Lebanese writer Iman Humaydan’s novel weaves together the stories of two women—a documentary filmmaker and a journalist—in postwar 1990s Beirut.




Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin
Translated from the Chinese by Bonnie Huie
NYRB Classics, 2017

A renowned literary modernist and one of Taiwan’s first openly lesbian writers, Qiu Miaojin’s posthumously published novel is a coming-of-age story of two queer misfits in late-1980s Taipei.

Read an excerpt from Notes of a Crocodile



Inheritance from Mother by Minae Mizumura
Translated from the Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter
Other Press, 2017

In Minae Mizumura’s latest novel, a Japanese woman in her mid-fifties grapples with an unfaithful husband, an ailing mother, and her own desire for fulfillment.

Read a review of Inheritance from Mother



Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga
Translated from the French by Jordan Stump
Archipelago Books, 2016

Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir recounts her childhood as a refugee in Burundi following her family’s forced displacement from Rwanda in the years leading up to the Rwandan genocide.




My Heart Hemmed In by Marie NDiaye
Translated from the French by Jordan Stump
Two Lines Press, 2017

Prix Goncourt-winning author Marie NDiaye’s latest is a surreal, suspenseful story of two provincial schoolteachers who realize that they are despised by their community.




Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors
Translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra
Pushkin Press, 2017

Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, Danish writer Dorthe Nors’s novel follows a woman’s search for meaning in present-day Copenhagen.

Read an interview with Dorthe Nors



Knots by Gunnhild Øyehaug
Translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017

Norwegian writer Gunnhild Øyehaug’s short-story collection explores the conflicts, complexities, discomforts, and bonds of love and desire.




The Hunger in Plain View by Ester Naomi Perquin
Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer
White Pine Press, 2017

In her third poetry collection, Dutch writer Esther Naomi Perquin inhabits the minds of nameless, the imprisoned, and the strange.

Read a review of The Hunger in Plain View



The White City by Karolina Ramqvist
Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel
Grove Press/Black Cat, 2017

Swedish writer Karolina Ramqvist’s novel is an intimate psychological portrait of a woman’s attempt to save herself and her infant following the death of her criminal boyfriend.




Adua by Igiaba Scego
Translated from the Italian by Jamie Richards
New Vessel Press, 2017

In Italian writer and journalist Igiaba Scego’s latest novel, an emigrant from Somalia to Italy is torn between her life in Rome and her homeland following her father’s death.

Read an excerpt from Adua



Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
Riverhead Books, 2017

In Argentinian writer Samanta Schweblin’s first novel, shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker International Prize, a young woman on her deathbed engages in a feverish dialogue.

Read a short story by and interview with Samanta Schweblin



Croatian War Nocturnal by Spomenka Štimec
Translated from the Esperanto by Sebastian Schulman
Phoneme Media, 2017

Spomenka Štimec’s fictionalized memoir recounts the wars in former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s through the eyes of a Croatian Esperanto activist and teacher.




A Greater Music by Bae Suah
Translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith
Open Letter Books, 2016

In Korean writer Bae Suah’s novel, a young writer’s fall into an icy river in the suburbs of Berlin inspires her journey through near and distant memories.




Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada
Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky
New Directions, 2016

Japanese-German writer Yoko Tawada’s latest novel explores empathy, alienation, and intimacy through the story of three generations of polar bears.

Read a science fiction story by Yoko Tawada



The End by Fernanda Torres
Translated from the Portuguese by Alison Entrekin 
Restless Books, 2017

In renowned Brazilian actress Fernanda Torres’s tragicomic debut novel, five friends in Rio’s Copacabana reflect on their glory days.




The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen
Translated from the Spanish by Andrea Rosenberg
Europa Editions, 2017

Winner of the 2015 Mauricio Achar Prize, Mexican writer Aura Xilonen’s debut follows a young man who illegally immigrates to the United States from Mexico in search of a better life.

Read an excerpt from The Gringo Champion



Frontier by Can Xue
Translated from the Chinese by Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping
Open Letter Books, 2017

Experimental Chinese writer Can Xue’s novel is told through the viewpoint of a dozen different characters who have gravitated to the surreal, frontier city of Pebble Town.

Read Porochista Khakpour’s interview with Can Xue


Read More #WIT on WWB

Where Are the Women in Translation? Here Are 31 to Read Now.

33 International Women Writers Who Are Bold for Change

Turning Points: Women Writers from Taiwan

Keep Reading #WIT with These 13 Taiwanese Writers

Women Write War

Le altre e io (The Other Women and I)—Women Writing within and beyond Italy

Tipping the Scales: WWB’s Conversation on Women in Translation at AWP

Published Aug 3, 2017   Copyright 2017 Jessie Chaffee

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