Reading Project: The 100 Best Books by Women Writers in Translation

Hi, folks!

Women in Translation Month is drawing to a close, but every month is more or less WIT month here! If you remember, Meytal at Biblibio decided to curate a list of the top 100 books for #WITMonth, and asked readers to share their top 10 books by women writers in translation (mine are here).

This week, she released the final crowdsourced list of the top 100 books by women writers in translation according to the readers. I am happy to see that four of the ten books I nominated got included in the final list; as for the rest of my nominations, three authors appeared in the final list with different books from the ones I had chosen (you can see everything below).

By now, you already know I am into reading lists, readalongs, reading projects, and the like, right? So, I am turning this list into a long-term reading project, and I will update this post as I go along. You will be able to find a link to this post in my projects page.

Meytal, Michael and Agnese also created a Goodreads group for people interested in reading & discussing the books. Agnese created a list on Goodreads here. And you can find the list as a challenge here.

As of now (August 28th, 2019), I’ve read 36 books, which will be listed below. Read books are marked as (✓). Favourites are in bold. My reviews, when available, will be linked below. Crossed off books denote the ones I either will not read or started reading and did not finish (DNFs). Books I nominated are marked as (*). Authors that appeared in my nominations with different books than the ones in the final list are marked as (#).

  • Books I’ve read: 36/ 100 (August 28th, 2019)
  • Source of the list: Biblibio
  • Goodreads group: 100BestWIT

NB: Depending on the edition I read, the names of the translators can vary from the ones in the original list, so I will be adding them as I go along. If I read the book in its original language, I will add below the translator mentioned in the original list. An exception to this rule was The Hour of the Star, by Clarice Lispector, which I read in Portuguese: I mention Giovanni Pontiero’s translation here, because I think it is better than Moser’s.

Click on the links to read my reviews, when available:

  1. ✓ My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante, tr. Ann Goldstein
  2. ✓ The Vegetarian, by Han Kang (#), tr. Deborah Smith
  3. Fever Dream, by Samanta Schweblin, tr. Megan McDowell (2017. Original: Distancia de rescate, 2014)
  4. Human Acts, by Han Kang (#)
  5. ✓ * The Door, by Magda Szabó, tr. Len Rix (2005. Original: Az ajtó, 1987)
  6. ✓ * Flights, by Olga Tokarczuk, tr. Jennifer Croft (2017. Original: Bieguni, 2007)
  7. ✓ Convenience Store Woman, by Sayaka Murata, tr. Tapley Takemori
  8. The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson, tr. Thomas Teal
  9. ✓ The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa, tr. Stephen Snyder
  10. ✓ * The Years, by Annie Ernaux, tr. Alison L. Strayer (2017. Original: Les Années, 2008)
  11. Things We Lost in the Fire, by Mariana Enriquez
  12. Death in Spring, by Merce Rodoreda
  13. Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
  14. Sphinx, by Anne Garreta
  15. Die My Love, by Ariana Harwicz
  16. ✓ Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto, tr. Megan Backus
  17. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, tr. Mattias Ripa, Blake Ferris, Anjali Singh
  18. Disoriental, by Négar Djavadi
  19. The Mussel Feast, by Birgit Vanderbeke, tr. Jamie Bulloch (2013. Original: Das Muschelessen, 1990)
  20. The Notebook, the Proof, the Third Lie: Three Novels, by Ágota Kristóf
  21. Innocence, by Heda Margolius
  22. ✓ House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, tr. Magda Bogin
  23. The End of Days, by Jenny Erpenbeck
  24. A True Novel, by Minae Mizumura
  25. The Unwomanly Face of War, by Svetlana Alexievich
  26. Eve Out of Her Ruins, by Ananda Devi
  27. Trieste, by Daša Drndic
  28. ✓ Bonjour Tristesse, by Françoise Sagan, tr. Irene Ash
  29. Love, by Hanne Ørstavik
  30. Suite Française, by Irène Némirovsky, tr. Sandra Smith
  31. So Long a Letter, by Mariama Bâ
  32. The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu, tr. Royall Tyler (2002. Original: Genji monogatari, 11th century)
  33. The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barberry
  34. Tentacle, by Rita Indiana
  35. ✓ Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset, tr. Tiina Nunnally (2005. Original: Kristin Lavransdatter, 1920)
  36. Second Hand Time, by Sviatlana Aleksievich
  37. ✓ * Territory of Light, by Yūko Tsushima, tr. Geraldine Harcourt (2018. Original: Hikari no ryōbun, 1979)
  38. Hour of the Star, by Clarice Lispector, tr. Giovanni Pontiero (1992. Original: A hora da estrela, 1977)
  39. Woman at Point Zero, by Nawal El Saadawi
  40. Soviet Milk, by Nora Ikstena, tr. Margita Gailitis (2018. Original: Mātes piens, 2015)
  41. Notes of a Crocodile, by Qiu Miaojin
  42. La Bastarda, by Trifonia Melibea Obono
  43. Vernon Subitex, by Virginie Despentes
  44. Revenge, by Yoko Ogawa
  45. Memoirs of a Polar Bear, by Yoko Tawada
  46. Nada, by Carmen Laforet, tr. Edith Grossman (2007. Original: Nada, 1944)
  47. Near to the Wild Heart, by Clarice Lispector, tr. Alison Entrekin (2012. Original: Perto do Coração Selvagem, 1943)
  48. Strange Weather in Tokyo, by Hiromi Kawakami
  49. ✓ Go, Went, Gone, by Jenny Erpenbeck, tr. Susan Bernofsky (2017. Original: Gehen, ging, gegangen, 2015)
  50. Seeing Red, by Lina Meruane
  51. Fish Soup, by Margarita García Robayo
  52. The Lover, by Marguerite Duras, tr. Barbara Bray
  53. Memoirs of Hadrian, by Marguerite Yourcenar, tr. Grace Frick
  54. The Wall, by Marlen Haushofer, tr. Shaun Whiteside
  55. Family Lexicon, by Natalia Ginzburg, tr. Jenny McPhee (2017. Original: Lessico famigliare, 1963)
  56. People in the Room, by Norah Lange
  57. ✓ Mouthful of Birds, by Samantha Schweblin, tr. Megan McDowell
  58. ✓ If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, by Sappho, tr. Anne Carson (2003)
  59. The Faculty of Dreams, by Sara Stridsberg
  60. Thus Were Their Faces, by Silvina Ocampo
  61. ✓ The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir, tr. H.M. Parshley
  62. The True Deceiver, by Tove Jansson
  63. Faces in the Crowd, by Valeria Luiselli
  64. ✓ View With a Grain of Sand, by Wisława Szymborska, tr. Stanislaw Baranczak, Clare Cavanagh
  65. The Queue, by Basma Abdel Aziz
  66. Fox, by Dubravka Ugresic
  67. ✓ The Days of Abandonment, by Elena Ferrante, tr. Ann Goldstein
  68. History, by Elsa Morante
  69. Arturo’s Island, by Elsa Morante
  70. Confessions, by Kanae Minato
  71. The Ten Thousand Things, by Maria Dermout
  72. My Heart Hemmed in by Marie NDiaye, tr. Jordan Stump
  73. The Unit, by Ninni Holmqvist
  74. The Bridge of Beyond, by Simone Schwarz-Bart
  75. Purge, by Sofi Oksanen
  76. The Story of My Teeth, by Valeria Luiselli
  77. Swallowing Mercury, by Wioletta Greg
  78. Tokyo Ueno Station, by Miri Yu
  79. The Little Girl on the Ice Floe, by Adélaïde Bon
  80. Extracting the Stone of Madness, by Alejandra Pizarnik, tr. Yvette Siegert
  81. The Remainder, by Alia Trabucco Zeran
  82. The Seventh Cross, by Anna Seghers
  83. The Naked Woman, by Armonía Somers
  84. Waking Lions, by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
  85. The Quest for Christa T, by Christa Wolf
  86. A Winter’s Promise, by Christelle Dabos
  87. Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, by Dorthe Nors (#)
  88. Sweet Days of Discipline, by Fleur Jaeggy (#)
  89. Zuleikha, by Guzel Yakhina
  90. The Hunger Angel, by Herta Müller
  91. Please Look After Mother, by Kyung Sook Shin
  92. Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
  93. La Femme De Gilles, by Madeleine Bourdouxhe
  94. The History of Bees, by Maja Lunde
  95. The Weight of Things, by Marianne Fritz, tr. Adrian Nathan West (2015. Original: Die Schwerkraft der Verhältnisse, 1978)
  96. Translation as Transhumance, by Mireille Gansel
  97. ✓ Out, by Natsuo Kirino, tr. Stephen Snyder
  98. Our Lady of the Nile, by Scholastique Mukasonga
  99. Subtly Worded, by Teffi
  100. The Letter for the King, by Tonke Dragt

This is it for now, folks! If you fancy doing a readalong with me of any of the books I haven’t read yet, let me know! 🙂

Yours truly,

J.


Leopold Carl Müller

4 thoughts on “Reading Project: The 100 Best Books by Women Writers in Translation

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