A Reading List for Women in Translation Month 2023

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!)




Human Sacrifices by María Fernanda Ampuero

Translated from the Spanish by Frances Riddle

Feminist Press | 2023

The twelve stories in this collection “contemplate the nature of exploitation and abuse, illuminating the realities of those society consumes for its own pitiless ends.”




Sweetlust by Asja Bakić

Translated from the Croatian by Jennifer Zoble

Feminist Press | 2023

In this short fiction collection, “eleven stories interweave feminist critique and science fiction into an irreverent portrait of our past, present, and future.”




Dreams and Other Ailments by Teresa Bevin

Translated from the Spanish by Teresa Bevin

Gival Press | 2001

This bilingual collection “provides a descriptive panorama that mixes the living with the dead and dream with reality so that boundaries of perception become blurred.”




A Strange Woman by Leylâ Erbil

Translated from the Turkish by Amy 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.”




Hunger Heart by Karen Fastrup

Translated from the Danish by Marina Allemano

Book*hug Press | 2022

Hunger Heart is “a sensual, profound work of autofiction about love, relationships, mental illness, and recovery by one of Denmark’s most celebrated literary writers.”




Call Me Esteban by Lejla Kalamujić

Translated from the 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.”




On the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim

Translated from the Korean by Sora Kim-Russell and Joungmin Lee Comfort

Kaya Press | 2021

This short fiction collection “teems with human and non-human beings, all of whom are striving to survive through evolution, whether biologically, technologically or socially.”




Blood Feast by Malika Moustadraf

Translated from the 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.”




The Girl Before Her by Line Papin 

Translated from the French by Adriana Hunter and Ly Lan Dill

Kaya Press | 2023

This novel “offers a window onto the existential anguish of displacement as experienced by a child on the cusp of becoming a woman.”




The Bear Woman by Karolina Ramqvist

Translated from the 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.”




Siblings by Brigitte Reimann

Translated from the German by Lucy Jones

Transit Books | 2023

Reimann’s first novel to appear in English is “a story of sibling love ruptured by the Iron Curtain.”




On a Woman’s Madness by Astrid Roemer

Translated from the Dutch by Lucy Scott

Two Lines Press | 2023

Originally published in 1982, this novel by the first Surinamese winner of the prestigious Dutch Literature Prize “tells the story of Noenka, a courageous Black woman trying to live a life of her choosing.”




The Red Book of Farewells by Pirkko Saisio

Translated from the Finnish by Mia Spangenberg

Two Lines Press | 2023

This autofictional novel is “a mesmerizing account of radical politics and sexual awakening in a series of farewells—to her mother, to the idealism of youth, to friends and lovers, and finally to her grown daughter.”




Where I Am by Dana Shem-Ur

Translated from the Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan

New Vessel Press | 2023

Where I Am is a novel “about life abroad in a cultural setting not one’s own: Reut is an Israeli translator living in Paris with a French husband and their child.”




Owlish by Dorothy Tse

Translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce

Graywolf Press | 2023

Owlish is “a fantastically eerie debut novel that is also a bold exploration of life under oppressive regimes.”





Voyager: Constellations of Memory by Nona Fernández

Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer

Graywolf Press | 2023

In this lyric essay inspired by the mission of the Voyager spacecrafts, “Fernández finds a new container for her profound and surreal reckonings with the past.”




Return to Latvia by Marina Jarre

Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein

New Vessel Press | 2023

In this “part travelogue, part memoir, part ruminative essay,” Jarre “looks for traces of her murdered father whom she never bid farewell.”




Migratory Birds by Mariana Oliver 

Translated from the Spanish by Julia Sanches

Transit Books | 2021

In these essays, Oliver “trains her gaze on migration in its many forms, moving between real cities and other more inaccessible territories.”




The Philosophy of Gardening

Translated from the German by Karen Caruana

Invisible Publishing | 2021

Edited by Blanka Stolz, this anthology of personal essays “addresses gardening’s most deep-rooted questions and highlights the magic that, year after year, makes us pick up a shovel and get back into the garden.”





The White Islands / Las Islas Blancas by Marjorie Agosín

Translated from the Spanish from Jacqueline Nanfito

Swan Isle Press | 2016

This collection is “a poetic journey through the islands of the Mediterranean that served as homes and refuge for the Sephardic Jews after the Alhambra Decree.”




The Lady of Elche by Amanda Berenguer

Translated from the Spanish by Kristin Dykstra

Veliz Books | 2023

Presented bilingually for the first time, this 1987 poetry collection “drips with prophecy still relevant to our own time.”




Kindness Separates Night From Day by Marija Dejanović

Translated from the Croatian by Vesna Maric

Sandorf Passage | 2023

This poetry collection “is a marvel of refined verse that explores the concept of the eternal stranger: the self.”




Heating the Outdoors by Marie-Andrée Gill

Translated from the French by Kristen Renee Miller

Book*hug Press | 2023

This collection of micropoems “describes the yearnings for love, the domestic monotony of post-breakup malaise, and the awkward meeting of exes.”




Lovemaking in the Footnotes by Mahsa Mohebali

Translated from the 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 Face of the Quartzes by Chus Pato

Translated from the Galician by Erín Moure

Veliz Books | 2021

In her twelfth book of poetry—and sixth to be translated from the Galician by Erín Moure—Pato “creates a manual for living that is one with birds, with animals, with peaks and trains and lighthouses, and with women who undertake journeys toward life (the improper) and spring (renewal).”




Sing, Nightingale by Marie Hélène Poitras

Translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins

Coach House Books | 2023

According to Sonia Sarfati, this novel is “a tale that is both beautiful and cruel, like only fairy tales can be. One that is deep and rich in what is found within and between the lines.”




The Dragonfly by Amelia Rosselli

Translated from the Italian by Roberta Antognini and Deborah Woodard

Entre Ríos Books | 2023

This long canto “hovers on the edge of the surreal, where meaning continually multiplies and then negates.”




claus and the scorpion by Lara Dopazo Ruibal

Translated from the Galician by Laura Cesarco Eglin

co•im•press | 2022

This poetry collection “interrogates the shattering responses to trauma and violence as they threaten and intrude upon the precarious ‘safe haven.’”




Pray to the Empty Wells by Iryna Shuvalova

Translated from the Ukrainian by Olena Jennings and Iryna Shuvalova

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.”




Pillar of Books by Moon Bo Young

Translated from the 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.”





mPalermu, Dancers, and Other Plays by Emma Dante

Translated from the Sicilian, Neapolitan, and Italian by Francesca Spedalieri

Swan Isle Press | 2020

The seven plays in this anthology “challenge stereotypes of the country and stage acts of resistance against the social, political, and economic conditions of Sicily.”




Lit Mags


From Our Lady of Kazan by Maya Arad

Translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen

Paper Brigade | 2020

This novel excerpt begins, “Idit had known from the start that she wasn’t going to enroll Lev in day­care or camp over the sum­mer.”




Logo of Words Without Borders featuring the text "WWB, Words Without Borders, The Home for International Literature" in black on a gray background.“The Decision” by Afghan Author D

Translated from the Pashto by Zarghuna Kargar

Words Without Borders | 2020

This short story begins, “She opened the wardrobe, took out her skirt and suit jacket, and shut the doors. After getting dressed, she looked at herself in the three-piece mirror, brushed her hair, and looked again.”




Two Poems by Dostena Anguelova

Translated from the Bulgarian by Holly Karapetkova

Another Chicago Magazine | 2020

The poem “A Key” begins, “The key rests on the table, / the tablecloth flames at the fringe….”




Logo of Words Without Borders featuring the text "WWB, Words Without Borders, The Home for International Literature" in black on a gray background.“Al-Nar Street” by Zeinab Belail

Translated from the Arabic by Nesrin Amin

Words Without Borders | 2020

This story begins, “Al-Nar Street is one of the longest streets that any of the city’s residents has ever set foot in.”




From Guerilla Blooms by Daniela Catrileo

Translated from the Spanish by Edith Adams

New England Review | 2022

This poem begins, “It’s hard to say: / is this a tapir / or / is this fear….”




“Circuiting: or the attempt to open a jam jar” by Anna Hengstberger

Translated from the German by Lisa Schantl

The Hopper | 2022

This poem begins, “There is no beginning and no end, only a circle, / a circle of which I determine the radius and the center is now—”




“My Women” by Yuliia Iliukha

Translated from the Ukrainian by Hanna Leliv

128 Lit | 2023

This prose piece begins, “A woman, who left her home on a gray February morning with her sleepy son, her cat, and two pairs of underwear in her backpack, was eating herself for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”




Two Poems by Hwang Jini and Kim Wooncho

Translated from the Korean by Suphil Lee Park

Another Chicago Magazine | 2023

The poem “Words of Farewell” begins, “Tree bared by the moon / Golden blooms in frost….”




Three Poems by Mona Kareem

Translated from the Arabic by Sara Elkamel

128 Lit | 2023

The poem “A Break for the Horizon” begins, “We discussed war at length— / What will we talk about tomorrow?”




Image from Dark Matter: Women Witnessing featuring the text "Women Witnessing" in white against an image of stones beneath water.Five Poems by Rosabetty Muñoz

Translated from the Spanish by Elena Barcia

Dark Matter: Women Witnessing | 2023

The first poem begins, “There’s a remote country at the bottom of days. / It’s always the same…”




Seven Poems by Stella N’Djoku

Translated from the Italian by Julia Pelosi-Thorpe

The Hopkins Review | 2022

The first poem begins, “This wasn’t what I meant / —a change to meet again— / I preferred metaphor.”




“The Red Marquise Speaks” by Margarita Mateo Palmer

Translated from the Spanish by Rebecca Hanssens-Reed

New England Review | 2021

This excerpt from the novel Gelsomina in the White Madhouses begins, “Those were really hard times. There was no electricity, no water, no gas, no food—well, you know as well as I do, I don’t have to tell you.”



Logo of ANMLY with the text in black inside a twisted mobius shape colored in with multicolored patches, against a pale purple background.Four Poems by Karla Quimsing

Translated from the Hiligaynon by Karla Quimsing

ANMLY | 2023

The poem “Maternity Leave” begins, “After nine months / of nourishing and carrying / a life in my belly (while I was working)….”




Logo of ANMLY with the text in black inside a twisted mobius shape colored in with multicolored patches, against a pale purple background.From Herostories by Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir

Translated from the Icelandic by K. B. Thors

ANMLY | 2023

This poem begins, “a physician by nature // the other hand of the district doctor // at once midwife and healer….”




“The Body” by Marianna Vitale

Translated from the Italian by Laura Venita Green

Apple Valley Review | 2023

This short story begins, “My mother once told me that you could tell whether a girl would grow up to be thin by looking at her ankles. If the ankles are slender, she said, everything else will be in proportion.”




Two Poems by Roshelle Weprinsky

Translated from the Yiddish by Rebecca Weingart

The Hopkins Review | 2023

“A Day” begins, “Houses—heavy, muted heads / lean against the low belly of the sky….”