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,
I love my back studded with ancient stars,
I love the lunar curve of my hips
I love my bunch of dark petals and secret fur
This body of mine that can hurt and get ill,
Living body, one solid link to secure
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 🙂