Women In Translation Reads. #WITMonth


It’s August which means it’s women in translation month, and can I just say how happy I am that this exist. I am a little late to the party as usual, but in my defense, I’ve had a busy summer.

For those of you who don’t know,  Women in Translation Month was created by Meytal Radzinski over at Biblibio. She has tons of recommendation and statistics over at her site which highlight why it’s so important to promote and push for women’s work to be translated.Books are a beautiful gateway into experiencing other cultures, traditions, and experiences. Likewise, they are also a  great way of demonstrating that oceans and continents may separate us, but we are  so much more alike then we think. As a travel junkie, the only thing that keeps me going between the long months between trips, are books. Whenever I find myself in that beautiful but restless wanderlust feeling, I pick up a book from the place I’m craving, and the lust subsides.

Over the past years, I’ve made it a mission to seek out women authors and women’s works in translation. It hasn’t at all been a chore, I love reading women’s work, and discovering that whether it’s Japan, Brazil, or Italy, we are not as different as the world would have us believe. My foray into these works has exposed me to ideas and experiences that I would have never had if these works had not been translated.  We need more books to bridge the gap, to tell our experiences, and show the world women’s capacity for storytelling.  While we’re on the subject, can someone please hurry and up and translate the rest of Yoko Ogawa’s work in English. Please. I’m begging.

This year has been a great year for reading Women in Translation,  and I hope it continues to be so.

Here are two Latin American Women whose work you should  really pick up!


Riverbed Memory by Daisy Zamora Translated by Barbara Paschke

Not only is this a Nicaraguan women’s work in translation, but poetry which is a another marginalized group in literature. Needless to say, I felt like I found the holy grail. My origins are Nicaraguan, and I’m constantly disappointed by the lack of representation I’ve found for Central American authors in general. I dived into Daisy Zamora’s work, and savored her accounts of the war my parents lived through. While many of the poems in this collection depict the Nicaraguan civil war and the brutal after math, a large portion of the collection is dedicated to women, to out bodies, our love, and our courage. Her poetry weaves  a story of girlhood, adulthood, and the lives of normal people facing the unimaginable.

Celebration of the Body

I love this body of mine that has lived a life,
its amphora contour soft as water,
my hair gushing out of my skull,
my face a glass goblet on its delicate stem
rising with grace from shoulders and collarbone.

I love my back studded with ancient stars,
the bright mounds of my breasts,
fountains of milk, our species’ first food,
my protruding ribcage, my yielding waist,
my belly’s fullness and warmth.

I love the lunar curve of my hips
shaped by various pregnancies,
the great curling wave of my buttocks,
my legs and feet, on which the temple stands.

I love my bunch of dark petals and secret fur
keeper of heaven’s mysterious gate,
to the damp hollow from which blood flows
and the water of life.

This body of mine that can hurt and get ill,
that oozes, coughs, sweats,
secretes humours, faeces, saliva,
grows tired, old and worn out.

Living body, one solid link to secure
the unending chain of bodies.
I love this body made of pure earth,
seed, root, sap, flower and fruit.


The Body Where I was Born By Guadalupe Nettel Translated by J.T. Lichtenstein

I’ve already raved about this book in a previous post, but a little more raving never hurt. This short but insightful  novel follows the life of a women who is now an an author and a mother. She recounts her odd childhood  growing up in Mexico City with her extremely liberal parents, and then moving to France and experiencing another culture and customs. The novel follows her youth and her complicated relationship with her mother, her introduction to drugs and sex, and her triumph over her own demons. I loved this little book, and cannot recommend it highly enough.


My TBR for the month:

Couple Mechanics by Nelly Alard

The Invisible Garden by Dolores Redondo

Revenge: A Fable by Tasalima Nasrin

Everything by Elena Ferrante

The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwarz-Bart

And Anything else I can get my hands on!

What are you reading for WITmonth? Please give me some recommendations!

Thanks for reading 🙂





9 thoughts on “Women In Translation Reads. #WITMonth

  1. These sound wonderful! I want to read more South American authors so thank you for the recommendations 🙂 I loudly second your plea for all of Ogawa’s work to be translated into English. Surely there’s the demand for it? The publishers will make a fortune!

    • You’re welcome. I hope you enjoy them. You would think so, but it’s taking ridiculously long to get the rest of her work published. Crossing fingers it’s in the works!

  2. Wonderful choices for reading women in translation! Thanks for highlighting those.

    I absolutely loved The Bridge of Beyond, one of the best of my #WIT reads and I can also recommend my most recent read by Nawal El Saadawi Woman at Point Zero, another stunning work and all the more poignant given it is based on a true life story.

  3. Two very interesting choices for WIT Month. I keep hearing good things about Guadalupe Nettel, so I shall have to add her to my list of writers to try in the future. I’ve been going down a distinctly European route with my WIT month reads, but it wouldn’t hurt for me to branch out to take in something from Latin America. Thanks for some useful food for thought.

    • Thank you! She is amazing. I hope you enjoy her work, and please let me know if you pick up any good Latin American works this month. I’m always on the hunt for those 🙂

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