Women in Translation Month: Fiction

In order to highlight the gender imbalance in translated literature - with only around a quarter of works translated into English coming from women writers - August has been named Women in Translation Month.

Considering that depressing statistic, this list was incredibly easy to put together: there's so much good stuff out there, from underappreciated classics to the newest of exciting, inventive fiction. #WITMonth also gives us the chance to highlight another of our pet subjects: the brilliant work being done by small independent presses. From Europa Editions, who brought Elena Ferrante to the attention of the world, to And Other Stories, who are giving over a whole year to publishing only women writers, to the only-just-established Tilted Axis Press, indie presses are, as always, where all the good stuff happens.

For more on Women In Translation Month, see our essays, poetry and children's booklists, read our guest blog from Nicky at And Other Stories, and follow the hashtag #WITMonth


Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, translated by Arunava Sinha

From the publisher:

‘Vivid, beguiling, passionate, and never less than urgent, with Panty, India has found its Ferrante. You must read this book.’ — Niven Govinden, author of All the Days ...

The Wall

Marlen Haushofer, translated by Shaun Whiteside

Nicholas Spice writes:

Among the leading Austrian writers of the postwar period, Marlen Haushofer is an unobtrusive presence. Where Bachmann and Bernhard, Handke and Jelinek all in their time ...

Grand Hotel

Vicki Baum, translated by Basil Creighton, revised by Margot Bettauer Dembo, introduction by Noah Isenberg

From the publisher:

A grand hotel in the center of 1920s Berlin serves as a microcosm of the modern world in Vicki Baum’s celebrated novel, a Weimar-era best seller that retains all its verve ...

The Blue Room

Hanne Orstavik, translated by Deborah Dawkin

From the publisher:

Johanne is a young woman in her twenties who lives with her mother. When she falls in love with Ivar, she finally feels ready to leave home. The couple plan a trip to ...

Troubling Love

Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein

From the publisher:

"In tactile, beautifully restrained prose, Ferrante makes the domestic violence that tore the household apart evident."—Publishers Weekly

Texas: The Great Theft

Carmen Boullosa, translated by Samantha Schnee

From the publisher:

A historical examination of tension and conflict on the Texas-Mexico border, told from the Mexican perspective, that’s especially relevant today.

The Art of Joy

Goliarda Sapienza, translated by Anne Milano Appel

From the publisher:

Born in a small Sicilian village and orphaned at age nine, Modesta spends her childhood in a convent raised by nuns. Through sheer cunning, she manages to escape, and ...

The Story of My Teeth

Valeria Luiselli, Translated by Christina MacSweeney

From the publisher:

Gustavo ‘Highway’ Sanchez is a man with a mission: he is planning to replace every last one of his unsightly teeth. He has a few skills that might help him on his way: he ...


Christa Wolf, translated by Jan Van Heurck

From the publisher:

‘Cassandra is fierce and feverish poetry that engages with the ancient stories while also charting its own path. Filled with passionate and startling insight into human ...

The Return

Dulce Maria Cardoso, translated by Ángel Gurría Quintana

From the publisher:

A powerful coming-of-age story, set against the violent backdrop of decolonisation and the return to an old homeland.