Unlike some of the other monthly themes for the Year of Reading Challenge, Women in Translation does not have the formal blessing of any government or large sponsoring organization. It is a small movement started by a book blogger in 2014 when she noticed how few books written by women in languages other than English ever get translated into English. Her goal was to promote the translated literature that already exists, and hopefully start a dialogue with publishers and others in the book world to translate more female writers.

I realize this might seem a little niche, and you might be thinking, “Why on earth is the library doing this?” The simple fact is, I love international literature, and being the monolingual reader that I am, I rely on the talents of translators and publishers being willing to publish these books. I want to read more great books from around the world, and even more than that, I want to be able to share them with all of you. So, yes, this month is a personal passion of mine, and my sincere hope is that all of you will discover a remarkable female author this August.

This has been a very successful month for me in the past, and I have discovered some great authors who I have included on this list. (For instance, Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman was my favorite book from last August!) The book you read does not need to come from this list, though—any book by a female author translated into English will qualify you for the monthly gift card drawing. If you haven’t registered yet for the Year of Reading, you can do so in Beanstack. If you want more information about the Year of Reading Challenge, read my blog here. And don’t forget to register your monthly theme book as an Activity Badge!



The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich
translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi
translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
translated from the French by Alison Anderson

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies

House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon
translated from Hebrew by Anthony Berris and Linda Yechiel

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
translated from the Spanish by Carol Christensen and Thomas Christensen

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein

The German House by Annette Hess
translated from the German by Elisabeth Lauffer

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis
translated from the Danish by Lene Kaaberbol

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein

The Starlet and the Spy by Ji-min Lee
translated from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata
translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori

Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
translated from the French by Sandra Smith

Girl in the Dark by Marion Pauw
translated from the Dutch by Hester Velmans

It Would be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo
translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer

The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sánchez
translated from the Spanish by Lucy Greaves

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Translated from the French by Mattias Ripa

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
translated from the French by Sam Taylor

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy

I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton

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