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August is Women in Translation month! Less than 31% of books published in English translation were written by women, according to figures from the translation database that started with three percent and Open Letter and is now hosted by women. Publishers Weekly. Founded by literary blogger Mittal Radzinsky, now in its ninth year, Women in Translation Month has begun promoting women writers from around the world and fighting this frighteningly low statistic. As summer approaches each year, I review catalogs, read a stack of galleys, and pick some titles written by Women in Translation published in June, July, and August.
With each new year, Women in Translation Month grows, and I am happy to see bookstore offerings, literary events, social media thrills, special sales, and all books published at this time of year, often by small independent publishers who make the inclusion and increase in quantity Books published by women in translation are a priority. This year’s roster is a great mix of first novels, some returning favorites like author Sayaka Murata and translator Jenny Tablei Takemori, short story collections, poetry, and more, so I encourage you to check out these new Summer 2022 releases by women in translation!
New releases for summer 2022 by Women in Translation
Summer Dogs by Andrea Abreu, translated by Julia Sanchez
I love summer novels. The kind that picks up on the sticky heat and anxiety that permeates it all. Everything is a little more intense in the summer. Emotions are a little closer to the surface. It’s as if someone forgot to turn the volume down even though the pace of the world slowed down. It is located in a working-class neighborhood in the Canary Islands, near the volcano north of Tenerife, summer dogs It is a perfect summer novel that follows two best friends as they grow up and their friendship begins to boil over with desire and violence. The writing is an intriguing blend of bachata words, Canary accent and childhood language – brave, wild and poetic – and is a remarkable feat of first author Andrea Abreu and renowned translator Julia Sanchez.
Chinatown by Thawan, translated by Ngwiễn n lu
The famous Vietnamese writer Thuận is the recipient of the Writers’ Union Award, the highest award in Vietnamese literature and Chinatown It is her twelfth novel, but it is the first of her novels to be published in English, although I doubt it will be the last. This novel is an intense, driven stream of consciousness’ journey through Hanoi, Leningrad and Paris as a woman narrates and attempts to understand her life and past. The question is: Is it really possible to forget in order to live? Chinatown It is a rich and surprising novel about love, memory and loss.
When Night Agrees To Talk To Me By Ananda Devi Translated by Kazim Ali
Renowned Mauritian writer Ananda Devi, whom readers may know from Eve Out of Its Ruins and Living Days, both translated in stunningly beautiful prose by Jeffrey Zuckerman, returns with a collection of poetry, this time translated by writer, poet and translator Kazem Ali. . Davy wrote “Let the Truth Leave These Bodies” in a complex and personal collection that blends poetry and autobiography and speaks in powerful truths about desire, violence, and aging. This beautiful bilingual collection also includes a translator’s note, a fascinating interview between Devi and Ali, and a short essay on reading Devi’s poetry by academic Mohit Chandna.
The Magician, Brenda Lozano, translated by Heather Cleary
Paloma died. Her death in town brings together journalist Zoe and the cousin of Paloma Feliciana, a famous indigenous healer or healer in the mountain village of San Felipe. Together, the two women explore trauma and healing in the wake of deeply ingrained societal violence against women and transgender people. Brenda Lozano is one of the most striking voices of a new generation of Latin American writers, and I am in awe of her thoughtful blending of these two narratives and styles. Translator Heather Cleary’s sharp observation examines the political and cultural ramifications of the choices translators make in their work.
Bad Handwriting by Sarah Mesa, translated by Katie Whitmore
I fell in love with Sarah Mesa’s sharply written, powerful, and violent novel, Four for FourAnd the Also translated by Katie Whittemore, I was thrilled to see this new collection of short stories exploring many of the same topics. While there was constant horror and tension in Misa’s narration, these stories seem more grotesque and more disturbing in all that is not told by nature in a short story, every pause and end seems like a sudden plunge into the darkness. bad handwriting It is also one of the books in Open Letter’s new Translator Triptych, along with Wolfskin by Lara Moreno and Mothers Don’t by Katixa Aguirre, all translated by Whittemore. The program is designed to honor and empower literary translators by emphasizing their role in the discovery, regulation, and promotion of international literature.
Talk to My Back by Yamada Murasaki, translated by Ryan Holmberg
Drawn & Quarterly has the greatest offerings of literature in translation, so I was thrilled to hear this first English translation of Yamada Murasaki’s innovative manga. talk to my back. The comics were originally serialized in the influential magazine jar From 1981 to 1984 when few women were making alternative manga. Yamada details the inner lives of the women on the set, the treatment of family, femininity, and the failures of the nuclear family in stunningly new and poignant notes. I am grateful to translator and publisher Ryan Holmberg for bringing this book and Kuniko Tsurita’s critically acclaimed book The Sky is Blue with Single Cloud to readers who can now enjoy the work of previously unpublished women in the alt-manga scene.
Where Dogs Bark With Their Tails By Estelle Sarah Paul, translated by Julia Graemeier
Where dogs bark with their stories It is a stunning novel, the story of one family and the sweeping saga of Guadeloupe and its diaspora spanning decades and oceans. I haven’t stopped thinking about the novel’s characters since I finished it – each is so closely and lively written, especially Mother Antoine. And while there’s a lot to read here, as Guadeloupe’s history is marked by colonialism and capitalism as we watch this family search and struggle to find their way in the world, it’s a powerful and compelling novel from first author Estelle-Sarah Bulle and brilliantly translated by Julia Graemeier.
Ceremonies of Life: The Stories of Sayaka Murata, translated by Jenny Tabli Takemori
Sayaka Morata has been so admired for her short stories in Japan, so it’s fun to see ceremonies of life, Murata’s first collection of short stories available in English, came out this summer with another stunning translation by Jenny Tabli Takemori. Along the same lines as the Little Shop Women and Earthlings, this quirky, devious and unorthodox group closely looks at societal expectations and pressures to match up to astounding impact. Often outcast and defenseless, or only existing on the edge of cultural norms and traditions, Morata, with humor and wit, evokes startling truths about relationships, belonging, individuality, and ultimately the nature of humanity.
For more great reads by Women in Translation, check out this list of 50 must-read books by Women in Translation.