A Reading List for Women in Translation Month 2022

For Women in Translation Month, observed annually during the month of August, we asked the many independent literary presses and magazines that make up our membership to share with us some of the literature they have published that is both written and translated by women. (Stay tuned for our National Translation Month reading list in September, which will feature additional works in translation!)



Alpha: Abidjan to Paris by Bessora and Barroux

Translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone

Bellevue Literary Press | 2018

Winner of the Doctors Without Borders Prize and the PEN Promotes Award, this graphic novel follows the journey of a refugee from West Africa.



Little Bird by Claudia Ulloa Donoso

Translated from Spanish by Lily Meyer

Deep Vellum Publishing | 2021

This book from Bogotá39 member Claudia Ulloa Donoso is “comprised of magical short stories and texts that explore the strangeness of everyday life.”




A Strange Woman by Leylâ Erbil

Translated from Turkish by Amy Marie Spangler and Nermin Menemencioğlu

Deep Vellum | 2022

This debut novel “by one of Turkey’s most radical female authors tells the story of an aspiring intellectual in a complex, modernizing country.”




Lake Like a Mirror by Ho Sok Fong

Translated from Chinese by Natascha Bruce

Two Lines Press | 2020

This collection of stories is “a scintillating exploration of the lives of women buffeted by powers beyond their control.”



Paper Houses by Dominique Fortier

Translated from French by Rhonda Mullins

Coach House Books | 2019

In this novel, Fortier brings Emily Dickinson “vividly to life, as if reanimating a flower that had been pressed in a book, through her reflections on language and what it feels like to be home.”



Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born by Mona Høvring

Translated from Norwegian by Kari Dickson and Rachel Rankin

Book*hug Press | 2021

Winner of the Norwegian Critics’ Prize for Literature, this novel is, according to Aimee Wall, a “luminous tale of the ‘burdensome tenderness’ between sisters and the emotional tumult of breaking free.”



Remnants by Céline Huyghebaert

Translated from French by Aleshia Jensen

Book*hug Press | 2022

Remnants is “an exploration of our relationships with family and perception, told through a profound investigation of a father’s life and sudden death.”



Call Me Esteban by Lejla Kalamujić

Translated from Bosnian by Jennifer Zoble

Sandorf Passage | 2021

This novel “depicts pre- and post-war Sarajevo by charting a daughter coping with losing her mother, but discovering herself.”



Death Fugue by Sheng Keyi

Translated from Chinese by Shelly Bryant

Restless Books | 2021

Banned from publication in China, this novel is a “dystopian satire that imagines a world of manufactured existence, the erasure of personal freedom, and the perils of governmental control.”



The Child by Pascale Kramer

Translated from French by Tamsin Black

Bellevue Literary Press | 2013

According to David Malouf, this novel is “an adult study of pain, thwarted affection, and guarded privacies in a world at the edge of violent public breakdown.”



And the Bride Closed the Door by Ronit Matalon

Translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen

New Vessel Press | 2019

This novel about a wedding day is a “moving and humorous look at contemporary Israel and the chaotic ups and downs of love everywhere.”



Blood Feast by Malika Moustadraf

Translated from Arabic by Alice Guthrie

Feminist Press | 2022

In this complete collection of her short fiction, Moustadraf “takes an unflinching look at the gendered body, social class, illness, double standards, and desire, as lived by a diverse cast of characters.”



Lovemaking in the Footnotes by Mahsa Mohebali

Translated from Persian by Saba Riazi

Hanging Loose Press | 2020

Winner of the Loose Translations Award, this short story collection about life in contemporary Tehran is banned in Iran.




The Light of Desire / La Luz del Deseo by Marjorie Agosín

Translated from Spanish by Lori Marie Carlson

Swan Isle Press | 2010

This long poem, presented bilingually in English and Spanish, “is both a secular and sacred meditation on love and its meanings in the land of Israel.”



Handful of Salt by Kajal Ahmad

Translated from Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse, Mewan Nahro Said Sofi, Darya Abdul-Karim Ali Najm, and Barbara Goldberg

The Word Works | 2016

According to Eve Ensler, these poems are “intoxications, sensual rumblings from the core of a woman’s fire, burning through homeland and body.”



Frivolous Women and Other Sinners / Frívolas y pecadoras by Alicia Borinsky

Translated from Spanish by Cola Franzen and Alicia Borinsky

Swan Isle Press | 2009

This poetry collection “invites us to visit the darker and lighter sides of laughter and love and feel the tenderness of recovered memories as we cross the bridges of relationships and stroll down the mysterious streets of childhood.”



Calazaza’s Delicious Dereliction by Suzanne Dracius

Translated from French and Creole by Nancy Naomi Carlson

Tupelo Press | 2015

According to H. Adlai Murdoch, Dracius’s “is an important voice in French Caribbean literature, one that deserves to reach as wide an audience as possible. The combination of literary sophistication, historical accuracy, and feminist valorization makes this work a literary and cultural landmark.”



Katabasis by Lucía Estrada

Translated from Spanish by Olivia Lott

Eulalia Books | 2020

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



Initial Coordinates by Monika Herceg

Translated from Croatian by Marina Veverec

Sandorf Passage | 2022

This novel-in-verse “meditates on Monika Herceg’s earliest childhood memories in a small rural village near Petrinja in central Croatia as war breaks out in the 1990s.”



Behind the Tree Backs by Iman Mohammed

Translated from Swedish by Jennifer Hayashida

Ugly Duckling Presse | 2022

This poetry collection “excavates war and displacement through a constellation of animate memories carved out of deep pleasure as well as brutality, the ancient and the institutional, the everyday and the geopolitical.”



Grotesque Weather and Good People by Solah Lim

Translated from Korean by Olan Munson and Oh Eunkyung

Black Ocean | 2022

The poems in this collection “explore the simultaneous intimacy and alienation of everyday life in urban Seoul.”



The Water Horse by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

Translated from Irish by Medbh McGuckian and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Wake Forest University Press | 2000

This bilingual poetry collection reminds us “that the power of myth lies in local and personal resurrections, such as the imaginary opening of her own great-grandmother’s tomb, but also, more sinisterly, as modern-day reenactments of Queen Medbh’s bloody cattle raids in sectarian reprisals.”



Copy by Dolores Dorantes

Translated from Spanish by Robin Myers

Wave Books | 2022

Copy is “a prose poem sequence that insinuates an experience of violent removal: a person’s disappearance from a country, from normal life, and forcible reintegration into a new social and existential configuration.”



Ex-Voto by Adélia Prado

Translated from Portuguese by Ellen Doré Watson

Tupelo Press | 2013

According to Kate Schapira, Prado’s poetry collection exhibits “a frank and contradictory extravagance that may or may not be divine, and is unquestionably human.”



Praises & Offenses: Three Women Poets from the Dominican Republic

Translated from Spanish by Judith Kerman

BOA Editions | 2009

This bilingual collection features poetry by Aida Cartagena Portalatín, Angela Hernández Núñez, and Ylonka Nacidit-Perdomo “illuminating what it means to be a woman living in the modern day Dominican Republic.”


The Bear Woman by Karolina Ramqvist

Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel

Coach House Books | 2022

Blending autofiction and essay, Ramqvist “explores what it means to write history, how women’s stories have been told, and wonders, in this time of narrative fatigue and a new wave feminism that the author does not quite relate to, where we have gotten ourselves to.”



Portrait Before Dark by Liana Sakelliou

Translated from Greek by Aliki Barnstone

Saint Julian Press | 2022

Portrait Before Dark is “an imagined dialogue between poet and arts patron, Edward James, and ballerina and 1920’s star, Tilly Losch, which follows the course of their short, tumultuous marriage.”



Pray to the Empty Wells by Iryna Shuvalova

Translated from Ukranian by Olena Jennings and the author

Lost Horse Press | 2019

Shuvalova’s first book-length poetry collection in English is “deeply rooted in Ukraine’s folk culture” and “re-mixes traditional spirituality with pulsating eroticism and an acute awareness of the natural environment.”



A Field of Foundlings by Iryna Starovoyt

Translated from Ukrainian by Grace Mahoney

Lost Horse Press | 2017

In this collection of her selected poems, Starovoyt “investigates Ukraine’s suppressed generational memory of the 20th century and the new context of its retelling in Eastern Europe.”



Ova Completa by Susana Thénon

Translated from Spanish by Rebekah Smith

Ugly Duckling Presse | 2021

This collection of Thénon’s poetics “expands to incorporate all it touches—classical and popular culture, song lyrics and vulgarities, incoherence and musicality.”



Willow, Wine, Mirror, Moon: Women’s Poems from Tang China

Translated from Chinese by Jeanne Larsen

BOA Editions | 2005

This collection features 106 poems by 44 female Tang era poets; “common thematic threads include heartbreak and the mysteries of the natural world.”



Pillar of Books by Moon Bo Young

Translated from Korean by Hedgie Choi

Black Ocean | 2021

Full of surrealism and humor, this debut collection in English “insists that you, as a reader, put down your expectations of what should be important or serious.”




The Madeleine Project: Uncovering a Parisian Life by Clara Beaudoux

Translated from French by Alison Anderson

New Vessel Press | 2017

Beaudoux documents the life and history of her apartment’s previous tenant, “a certain Madeleine who died in her late nineties, and whose treasured possessions nobody seems to want.”



Black Box by Shiori Ito

Translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell

Feminist Press | 2021

This memoir about sexual assault “recounts a broken system of repression and violence—but it also heralds the beginning of a new solidarity movement seeking a more equitable path toward justice.”



Distant Fathers by Marina Jarre

Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

New Vessel Press | June 22, 2021

According to Vivian Gornick, Jarre’s book—translated by Ann Goldstein—is “a beautifully ingenious memoir, saturated in the history of the European 20th century, and made all the more compelling by Ann Goldstein’s luminous translation.”



Nine Moons by Gabriela Wiener

Translated from Spanish by Jessica Powell

Restless Books | 2020

Peruvian essayist Wiener’s latest book is “a fierce and funny exploration of sex, pregnancy, and motherhood that delves headlong into our fraught fascination with human reproduction.”



Literary Magazines


“White” by Paola d’Agnese

Translated from the Italian by Toti O’Brien

Apple Valley Review | 2022

This poem begins, “this vain pattern of light / strip of land stolen away from tides.”



“Fish” and “Mutabor” by Polina Barskova

Translated from Russian by Valzhyna Mort

Bennington Review | 2021

“Mutabor” begins, “My life has given way to the gaping cracks / which, for the sake of speech, I’d call ‘Saturdays’ and / ‘Sundays.’”



“Birthing a Translation: The Author as Midwife”

Words Without Borders | 2022

In this interview, translator Mara Faye Lethem says, “I think it’s easy for translators to forget how difficult it is to do our job well, and some authors are more sensitive to the work involved than others.”



“Art of Translation: Margaret Jull Costa”

The Paris Review | 2020

In this interview, translator Margaret Jull Costa says, “Translation is writing… each translation you do is a combination of the author’s voice and your voice—you can’t not exist.”




“The Street Is Who Walks It” by Francesca Gargallo

Translated from Spanish by Dana Delibovi

Apple Valley Review | 2020

This poem begins, “I came into this world a traveler, / a shadow of a train on the blackberries, / a boat’s wake.”



“We Carry Our Dead” by Halyna Kruk

Translated from Ukrainian by Dzvinia Orlowsky and Ali Kinsella

Consequence Forum | 2022

This poem begins, “we carry our dead like children / lay them out in the plaza and encircle them.”



“Translation in Motion: A Conversation with Suzanne Jill Levine”

Rain Taxi Review of Books | 2022

Prefacing this interview, Erik Noonan writes, “Levine also has had the vision and bravado to become a protagonist in the story of Latin American literature in English translation, and to change it in the process, not only publishing biographies and translations, but also creating a mashup of autobiography and scholarship that’s totally original.”



“Mournful One” and “The Rice Field” by Julia Wong Kcomt

Translated from Spanish by Jennifer Shyue

Bennington Review | 2022

“Mournful One” begins, “Whether I lived in Peru or not / I can’t remember now.”



“The Airplane” by Giulia Sara Miori

Translated from Italian by Isabella Corletto

Cincinnati Review | 2022

This story begins, “Three hours. It’s a three-hour flight. Three hours is nothing, absolutely nothing—in the time it takes to depart, you’re already descending.”



“Common Nature: Non-fiction Stories for Reconciliation by Ex-combatants” by Doris Suárez and Disney Cardoso

Translated from Spanish by Jeanine Legato

Consequence Forum | 2022

The result of a collaborative writing process by demobilized ex-combatants from Colombia is, according to the translator, “a challenge to dominant narratives about public order in Colombia.”



i utide” by Lone Vitus

Translated from Danish by Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov

SmokeLong Quarterly | 2017

This story begins, “No one knows how old I am, but I try to keep up. My body can, my soul cannot. Thoughts impede each other, seeking detours and overlapping, going around in circles and merging.”



Warmth & Verse

Yugen Quest Review | 2022

The fifth edition of Yugen Quest Review “presents an eclectic mix of poetry in translation, and original Indian English poetry and short story, by fabulous women authors.”