Upcoming Books by Women in Translation

Women in Translation month may have officially ended, but that doesn't mean we're going to stop reading books by women in translation! Books written by women, books written in languages other than English: despite their underrepresentation, these are some of the most exciting works out there, and we want to read them all year long. Here are some forthcoming books by women in translation that we're looking forward to. 

 

Eve Out of Her Ruins
by Ananda Devi, translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman

A look at life on the island of Mauritius from the perspective of four friends, from a writer whom J.M.G. Le Clézio called "truly great." We're going to hazard a guess that most people in the U.S. have read few, if any, books that take place in Mauritius; maybe this one would be a good start?

(Deep Vellum Press, September 2016)

 

 

 

 

A Spare Life
by Lidija Dimkovska, translated by Christina E. Kramer

This book already has a fan in Book Culture's own Nick, who says, "A Spare Life is a calm, steady novel that traces the tumultuous history of Yugoslavia through the eyes of Srebra, a young girl dealing with growing up, having friends, handling family. Oh, and she is conjoined at the temple to her twin sister Zlata. I love that this novel is from the perspective of only one of the conjoined twins. This novel is a wake up call to the state of immigration. There is no wall that can stop people from trying." 

(Two Lines Press, October 2016)

 

 

 

 

A Greater Music
by Bae Suah, translated by Deborah Smith

Suah is an acclaimed Korean author, as well as the Korean translator of W.G. Sebald, Franz Kafka, and Jenny Erpenbeck. Smith is the award-winning translator of Han Kang's breakout success, The VegetarianThe two of them together is sure to be something special. 

(Open Letter Books, October 2016)

 

 

 

 

Iza's Ballad 
by Magda Szabo, translated by George Szirtes

Szabo's The Door was one of The New York Time's 10 Best Books of 2015. It was also a personal favorite of more than one Book Culture employee, so expectations are high for this book. The Door focused on the relationship between a writer and her housekeeper; here, the focus is again on a relationship between two women, this time a mother and daughter. 

(New York Review of Books, October 2016)

 

 

 

 

Frantumaglia
by Elena Ferrante, translated by Anne Goldstein

Yes, we have Ferrante Fever! So we're eagerly awaiting this one, a collection of her non-fiction. We're looking forward to reading about her perspectives on motherhood and feminism, as well as her choice to remain anonymous (Elena Ferante is a pseudonym).

(Europa Editions, November 2016)

 

 

 

 

Memoirs of a Polar Bear
by Yoko Tawada, translated by Susan Bernofsky

A multi-generational story about a family of polar bears does sound odd, but we've been hearing great things about this one. According to translator Susan Bernofsky, "It’s a very playful book, lighthearted and whimsical on the surface, but in other ways very serious – I read it as secretly being about questions of race and ethnicity and human discomfort with otherness of all sorts."

(New Directions, November 2016)

 

 

 

La Femme de Gilles
by Madeleine Bourdouxhe, translated by Faith Evans

Melville House describes Bourdouxhe as an "early feminist and anti-Nazi activist," which pretty much has us sold. That fact they also compare this book to the work of Elena Ferrante and Jenny Offill certainly doesn't hurt, either. 

(Melville House, November 2016)

 

 

 

 

Justine
by Iben Mondrup, translated by Kerri A. Pierce

This is a daring look at the Danish art world from the perspective of a young, female artist who's just lost everything in a house fire. The perfect book for anyone who's ever bemoaned the lack of female antiheroes in literature. 

(Open Letter Books, November 2016)

 

 

 

 

Heavens on Earth
by Carmen Boullosa, translated by Shelby Vincent

Boullosa's fantastic Texas: The Great Theft took place in the 1850s in two towns on either side of the Texas-Mexico border. This new book will be something different, as it appears to take place, at least in part, in the future, among people who live suspended in the atmosphere above the Earth. We can't wait to see what Boullosa will do with this premise!

(Deep Vellum Press, December 2016)

 

 

 

 

Dance on the Volcano
by Marie Vieux-Chauvet, translated by Kaiama L. Glover

Vieux-Chauvet was a major Haitian writer; this is only her second novel to appear in English (the first one, Love, Anger, Madness, was hailed by Edwidge Danticat as "the cornerstone of Haitian literature"). Dance on the Volcano--finally translated by Kaiama L. Glover, a scholar of Haitian literature (and Barnard professor!)--follows a celebrated black singer in pre-revolutionary Haiti. 

(Archipelago Books, December 2016)

 

 

Savage Theories
by Pola Oloixarac, translated by Roy Kesey

Oloixarac is a rising star in the Latin American literary world, with two acclaimed novels under her belt, and has apparently come under fire for "writing like a man," whatever that means. She was one of Granta's Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists in 2010. Thanks to Soho Press, her work will finally be available in English! It's set in the world of Argentinian academia, and who doesn't love a good campus novel?

(Soho Press, January 2017)

 

 

 

A Simple Story
by Leila Guerriero, translated by Frances Riddle

Literary non-fiction can be sadly difficult to find in translation; this book, by journalist Leila Guerriero, bucks that trend. The "simple story" here is about malambo, a demanding form of Argentinian folk dance, and a man preparing to compete in the national malambo competition. 

(New Directions, January 2017)

 

 

 

 

Fever Dream
by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell

At last, a full-length work by Samanta Schweblin in English! Schweblin appeared on Granta's Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists list along with Pola Oloixarac, and her arrival on the English-language literary scene is long overdue. Her work has gotten rave reviews from the likes of Alejandro Zambra, Jesse Ball, and Mario Vargas Llosa.

(Riverhead Books, January 2017)

 

 

 

 

Frontier
by Can Xue, translated by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping

Can Xue's work is often described as "avant-garde" and "surreal"; she says of her writing process, "Reason monitors from afar. Emotions are completely unleashed. I turn towards the dark abyss of consciousness and plunge in, and in the tension between those two forces, I build the fantastic, idealist plots of my stories." Her most recent work to appear in English, The Last Lover, won the 2015 Best Translated Book Award; we can't wait to see what's next from this exciting writer. 

(Open Letter Books, March 2017)

 

 

 

 

Check out our other posts about Women in Translation month: 
Women in Translation month staff picks
Q&A with translator Susan Bernofsky
Q&A with translator Margaret Carson

Eve Out of Her Ruins Cover Image
By Ananda Devi, Jeffrey Zuckerman (Translator), J. M. G. Le Clezio (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781941920404
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - September 13th, 2016

Staff Pick Logo
A Spare Life Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781931883559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Two Lines Press - October 11th, 2016

A Greater Music Cover Image
By Suah Bae, Deborah Smith (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781940953465
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Open Letter Books - October 11th, 2016

Staff Pick Logo
The Vegetarian Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781101906118
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Hogarth Press - August 23rd, 2016

Staff Pick Logo
Iza's Ballad Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, George Szirtes (Introduction by), George Szirtes (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781681370347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New York Review of Books - October 18th, 2016

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The Door Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translator), Ali Smith (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590177716
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New York Review of Books - January 27th, 2015

Frantumaglia: A Writer's Journey Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
$24.00
ISBN: 9781609452926
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Europa Editions - November 1st, 2016

Staff Pick Logo
Memoirs of a Polar Bear Cover Image
By Yoko Tawada, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811225786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 8th, 2016

La Femme de Gilles Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781612195872
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Melville House Publishing - November 15th, 2016

Justine Cover Image
By Iben Mondrup, Kerri A. Pierce (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781940953489
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Open Letter Books - November 15th, 2016

Heavens on Earth Cover Image
By Carmen Boullosa, Shelby Vincent (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781941920442
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - October 10th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
Texas: The Great Theft Cover Image
By Carmen Boullosa, Samantha Schnee (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941920008
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - December 2nd, 2014

Staff Pick Logo
Dance on the Volcano Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780914671572
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Archipelago Books - January 10th, 2017

Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Triptych Cover Image
By Marie Vieux-Chauvet, Rose-Myriam Rejouis (Translator), Val Vinokur (Translator)
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780812976922
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Modern Library - March 30th, 2010

Savage Theories Cover Image
By Pola Oloixarac, Roy Kesey (Translator)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781616957353
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Press - January 10th, 2017

A Simple Story: The Last Malambo Cover Image
By Leila Guerriero, Frances Riddle (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811226004
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - February 7th, 2017

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Fever Dream Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780399184598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Riverhead Books - January 10th, 2017

The Last Lover Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780300153323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Yale University Press - July 29th, 2014

Frontier Cover Image
By Can Xue, Karen Gernant (Translator), Chen Zeping (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781940953540
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Open Letter Books - March 14th, 2017