A Reading List for National Translation Month

We’re proud to have as CLMP Members many presses and literary journals that champion work in translation from around the world. Here are some books and magazine issues we recommend reading in September and year-round—and check out our reading list for August’s Women in Translation Month for more!


The Fallen by Carlos Manuel Álvarez

Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne

Graywolf Press; June 2020

This debut novel is, according to Alia Trabucco Zerán, “a subtle, intelligent, and profoundly moving novel which sketches… a rarely seen Cuban landscape.”


Women of the Big Sky by Liliana Ancalao

Translated by Seth Michelson

The Word Works; March 2020

This collection by a leading Mapuche poet—published in a trilingual edition featuring Spanish, English, and Mapuzungun—is, according to the translator, teaching us to reclaim our language(s) with tenderness, hope, and precision, and to respect those of others.


The Wall by Max Annas

Translated from the German by Rachel Hildebrandt

Catalyst Press ; 2019

Winner of the 2017 German Crime Fiction Prize and set in a South African gated community, this crime novel “tackles the issues of gun violence, racism, and exclusion in contemporary South Africa.”




This folio from Anomaly features work in translation by Zsuka Nagy, Yan An, João Luís Barreto Guimarães, Verónica G. Arredondo, and Anna Adamowicz.


They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru

Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel

Two Lines Press; 2019

According to the 2020 Firecracker Award judges, “This exceptional novel defies categorization and investigates the many facets of terror and xenophobia through the story of a radicalized young woman.”


Tropic of Violence by Nathacha Appanah

Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan

Graywolf Press; May 2020

Appanah’s latest novel follows “a small chorus of voices who narrate the heartbreak, violence, and injustice of life in Mayotte.”


Factory Girls by Takako Arai

Translated from the Japanese by Jeffrey Angles, Jen Crawford, Carol Hayes, Rina Kikuchi, You Nakai & Sawako Nakayasu

Action Books; 2019

Arai’s first English-language translation “collects engaging, rhythmically intense narrative poems set in the silk weaving factory where Arai grew up.”’


Sense Violence by Helena Boberg

Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Görannson

Black Ocean; 2020

This book-length poem “hinges on the dichotomy of a masculine will to power and a call to action for a feminine collective to confront it on all corners—from mythologies to cultural tropes and ingrained hierarchies.” 



Issue 104

The Summer 2020 issue of Brick contains a translation exercise, in which twelve authors translated a piece from ancient Chinese by Shen Kuo into twelve other languages.


Ornamental by Juan Cárdenas

Translated from the Spanish by Lizzie Davis

Coffee House Press; June 2020

This novel follows a doctor who “recruits volunteers for the trial of a new recreational drug that exclusively affects women.”


Notes Toward a Pamphlet by Sergio Chejfec

Translated from the Spanish by Whitney DeVos

Ugly Duckling Presse; July 2020

This essay investigates “the pamphlet form as a ‘megaphone’ for the dissemination of ‘views’ bound by ‘a situation of existence’ of a poet who ‘aspired to a voice permanently lowered.’” 


Translation is a Mode=Translation is an Anti-neocolonial Mode by Don Mee Choi

Ugly Duckling Presse; May 2020

In this critical essay, Choi “explores translation and language in the context of US imperialism.”



Collective Actions: Audience Recollections from the First Five Years, 1976-1981 Translated from the Russian by Yelena Kalinsky

Soberscove Press; 2012

This collection of recollections highlights a group of conceptual and performance artists active in Moscow since 1976.


The Common

Issue 19

The most recent issue of The Common features a portfolio of eleven translated Arabic fiction from Sudan. A previous issue, Issue 11, is dedicated to work in translation.


Katabasis by Lucia Estrada

Translated from the Spanish by Olivia Lott

Eulalia Books; October 2020

Winner of the 2017 Bogotá Poetry Prize, Katabasis “reminds us that darkness is a space of enlightenment” and is the first full collection of poetry by a Colombian woman to be translated into English.


Lighthouse for the Drowning by Jawdat Fakhreddine

Translated from the Arabic

BOA Editions; 2017

The first U.S. publication of this major Lebanese poet, this poetry collection—presented bilingually in Arabic and English—“establishes a revolutionary dialogue between international, modernist values and the Arabic tradition.”


Sun of Consciousness by Édouard Glissant

Translated from the French by Nathanaël

Nightboat Books; February 2020

According to Matt Reeck, this first English translation of Glissant’s debut essay is “decolonizing in the basic sense of that term” and “suggestive — potently suggestive — of global futures.”


Flowers of Mold by Ha Seong-Nan

Translated from the Korean by Janet Hong

Open Letter Books; 2019

According to Susan Choi, the stories in this collection—a finalist for the 2020 Firecracker Award in Fiction—“unfurl with the surreal illogic of dreams.”




Landscapes with Donkey by José Manuel Marrero Henríquez

Translated from the Spanish by Ellen Skowronski-Polito

Green Writers Press; 2018

This poetry collection by a key figure in ecocriticism “follows a gentle, gray donkey on his travels through the dusty hillsides of the Canary Islands, an archipelago located off the western coast of Africa.”


Grove by Esther Kinsky

Translated from the German by Caroline Schmidt

Transit Books; July 2020

Winner of the Leipzig Book Prize and the Düsseldorf Book Prize, this novel is, according to Lucy Scholes, “a story of an existence stilled by loss, but the promise of life, and with it renewal and hope, pulses gently but steadily at its heart.”


“The New World” by Esther Singer Kreitman

Translated from the Yiddish by Barbara Harshav

Lilith Magazine, Spring 1991

This short story was written by a Yiddish-language writer born in Poland in 1891.


Sunday Sparrows by Song Lin

Translated from the Chinese by Jami Proctor-Xu

Zephyr Press; March 2020

This poetry collection is by “one of China’s most distinguished poets,” whose poems “explore his sojourns in several countries, the natural world outside him, and his own inner landscape.”


The Literary Review

Vol. 61, Issue 02

The Babel Fish issue of The Literary Review contains works translated from Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew.


Synergos: Selected Poems of Roberto Manzano by Roberto Manzano

Translated from the Spanish by Steven Reese

Etruscan Press; 2009

This selection of Manzano’s work “offers a window into contemporary Cuban life in its attention to the local landscape and environment.”


Terribly in Love by Tautvyda Marcinkevičiūtė

Translated from the Lithuanian and edited by H.L. Hix and Julie Kane

Lost Horse Press; 2018

The first English-language collection by the most celebrated woman poet in Lithuania today, Terribly in Love—published in a bilingual edition—“addresses with courage and clarity the question of how not only to survive, but also to maintain dignity and pursue integrity.”


This Could Have Become Ramayan Chamar’s Tale by Subimal Misra

Translated from the Bengali by V. Ramaswamy

Open Letter; July 2020

This collection of two “anti-novels”—the first of Misra’s work to appear in the United States—is “a direct assault on the vast conspiracy of not seeing that makes us look away from the realities of our socio-political order.”


Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila

Translated from the French by Roland Glasser

Deep Vellum; 2015

Winner of the Etisalat Prize for Debut African Fiction, this novel “uses jazz rhythms to evoke the frenzied exploitation of land and people in contemporary Africa.”


Canto General by Pablo Neruda

Translated from the Spanish by Mariela Griffor

Tupelo Press; 2016

Edited by Jeffrey Levine, Neruda’s epic poem “is a prodigious work that scrolls out like the chronicle of a journey through the Americas.”


Impure Acts by Ángelo Néstore

Translated from the Spanish by Lawrence Schimel

Indolent Books; 2019

This poetry collection “changes the whole cartography of desire with the beautiful perfection of a modern, dream-like demiurge who knows he is in absolute possession of his glory.”


One Flew Over the Kosovo Theater: An Anthology of Contemporary Drama from Kosovo

Translated from the Albanian

Laertes Books; 2014

Edited by Saša Ilić and Jeton Neziraj, this collection of plays is “perhaps the first full-throated response to the war in Kosovo to be published in English.”


The Paris Review

No. 233

The Summer 2020 issue of The Paris Review features an Art of Translation interview with Margaret Jull Costa.. In addition, all the poetry in the issue—including by Charles Baudelaire, Duo Duo, and Kęstutis Navakas—is translated from seven different languages: Chinese, Urdu, Lithuanian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Persian.


Aaron’s Leap by Magdaléna Platzová

Translated from the Czech by Craig Cravens

Bellevue Literary Press; 2014

Following a “search for freedom.. from Vienna to the Bauhaus school, Weimar Berlin, and Prague,” this novel is based on the true story of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, “who taught art to children in the Nazi transport camp of Terezín and died in Auschwitz.”


Full Fare by Jean-Bernard Pouy

Translated from the French by Carolyn Gates, Jean-Philippe Gury, and Robert Helms

Frayed Edge Press; 2019

The first English translation of a popular French author, this novel explores “a social and political experiment that leads to a new form of society.”


The Sky Weeps for Me by Sergio Ramirez

Translated from the Spanish by Leland H. Chambers and Bruce McPherson

McPherson & Company; October 2020

Set in post-revolutionary Nicaragua, this noir novel follows the events after “a large luxury yacht is grounded and abandoned on the Caribbean coast.”


Jean-Luc Persecuted by C. F. Ramuz

Translated from the Swiss by Olivia Baes

Deep Vellum; August 2020

The first English translation of this classic Swiss novel, Jean-Luc Persecuted is “a masterful exploration of societal pressure’s explosive effects.”


Readymade Bodhisattva: The Kaya Anthology of South Korean Science Fiction

Translated from the Korean

Kaya Press; 2019

Edited by Sunyoung Park and Sang Joon Park, this is the first book-length, English-language translation of science and speculative fiction from South Korea; it features thirteen stories from the 1960s through the 2010s.


Druids by Tomaž Šalamun

Translated from the Slovenian by Sonja Kravanja

Black Ocean; 2019

This poetry collection by Šalamun “exemplifies the best of what he is known for in its experiments with surrealism, polyphony, and absurdism.”


Selected Works by Yi Sang

Translated from the Korean by Jack Jung, Don Mee Choi, Sawako Nakayasu, Joyelle McSweeney

Wave Books; 2020

Edited by Don Mee Choi, this selection of poems, stories, and essays by “one of the great revolutionary legacies of modern Korean literature” is a “visionary and daring response to personal and national trauma.”


I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara by Lalbihari Sharma

Translated from the Bhojpuri dialect by Rajiv Mohabir

Kaya Press 2019

Originally published in India in 1916, this collection of spiritual songs is “the only known literary work written by an indentured servant in the Anglophone Caribbean.”


My Village: Selected Poems 1972-2014 by Wu Sheng

Translated from the Chinese by John Balcom

Zephyr Press; June 2020

The poems in this collection are “rooted in the soil, imbued with an unshakable affinity for the people who till it, sweat over it, and eventually are buried in it.”


Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese

Translated from the Chinese by Arthur Sze

Copper Canyon Press; 2001

This collection features work “by poets who have had a profound effect on Chinese culture, American poetics, and Sze’s own maturation as an artist.”


Above the Sky Beneath the Earth by Aleš Šteger

Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry

White Pine Press; 2019

The poems in this collection are “harrowing and hilarious, unnerving and weirdly familiar—and, most of all, ambitious in its attempt to look anew into our all-too-human darkness.”


The Devil’s Country by Perla Suez

Translated from the Spanish by Rhonda Dahl Buchanan

White Pine Press; March 2020

This novel is “a tale of vengeance and vigilante justice at the hands of an unlikely heroine, a fourteen year-old girl named Lum Hué, daughter of a white man and a Mapuche mother, and sole survivor of the massacre of her village by five white soldiers.”


The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag

Translated from the German by Katharina Rout

Milkweed Editions; June 2020

This novel, set in Mongolia, explores how “the nomadic Tuvan people’s ancient way of life collides with the pervasive influence of modernity as seen through the eyes of Dshurukawaa, a young shepherd boy.”


Glory and Its Litany of Horrors by Fernanda Torres

Translated from the Portuguese by Eric M. B. Becker

Restless Books; 2019

A finalist for the 2020 Firecracker Award in Fiction, this novel is a razor-sharp take on the uneasy marriage of Art and the marketplace, and on the profession of acting in all its horror and glory.


Two Lines Journal

In the 25th anniversary issue of Two Lines Journal, called The Future of Translation, six essayists and translators speak to the future of translation. Says editor CJ Evans, Translation is an invitation, a bringing in of a reader who would be otherwise left outside.



Fauna by Christiane Vadnais

Translated from the French by Pablo Strauss

Coach House Books; September 2020

Winner of the Horizons Imaginaires speculative fiction award and the City of Quebec book award, this collection of “lush and bracing linked climate fictions depict a world gorgeous and terrifying in its likeness to our own.”


On the Rock: The Acropolis Interviews by Allyson Vieira

Translated from the Greek

Soberscove Press; 2019

In a bilingual collection of interviews, On the Rock records “ancient building practices, the teaching of traditional craft, changes in the practice of architectural restoration, and the social and class dynamics” around the restoration of Greece’s Acropolis.


Words Without Borders

Indigenous Writing Project: Contemporary Guaraní Poetry (July/August 2020)

The first installment in the Indigenous Writing Project features “poetry whose concerns range from the quotidian to questions of life and death, translated from various dialects of Guaraní into English, Spanish, and Portuguese.”


Xeixa: Fourteen Catalan Poets

Translated from the Catalan by Marlon L. Fick and Francisca Esteve

Tupelo Press; 2018

According to Ilya Kaminsky, this anthology of poems is “an astonishingly generous collection that teaches us how to take a hurt and make it into a song, teaches us how a private whisper can become everyone’s private whisper, how a poem in Catalan can become an equally beautiful, terrifying, inspiring poem in English.”


Red Dust by Yoss

Translated from the Spanish by David Frye

Restless Books; July 2020

This novel from the beloved Cuban science fiction author follows “a positronic robot detective on the hunt for some extra-dangerous extraterrestrial criminals.”


Selected Poems by Oksana Zabuzhko

Translated from the Ukrainian by Wanda Phipps, Virlana Tkacz, Michael Naydan, Lisa Sapinkopf, Douglas Burnet Smith, Marko Carynnyk, and Askold Melnyczuk

Arrowsmith Press; 2020

This selection of poems from a celebrated Ukrainian poet stands alongside the finest and most important work to emerge from Europe in the last half century.


The Silence That Remains by Ghassan Zaqtan

Translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah

Copper Canyon Press; 2017

This selection of poems by a major contemporary Palestinian poet is full of “unadorned, clearly delivered narratives of war and witness.”