When I started posting about the lack of women writers in translation, I had one idea in mind: get people thinking. Just as I had never noticed this startling skew, I knew that most readers of literature in translation probably weren't aware of just how bad the situation had become. I wanted to spread awareness, make the issue known, and get readers, reviewers, translators and publishers involved in a discussion.
Thankfully - thanks to all of you - this has been possible. But as I've said before - this project is not one post, thrown to the wind. Over the past few months, this project has become more and more central to my reading. I spent January tracking down a lot of books by women in translation, and February, March, and April reading them. I've been writing more reviews than usual, widening my horizons, and all the while trying to understand what could be the reasons for the overwhelming male-preference in translated literature.
While many of you have voluntarily taken up the challenge to read more books by women in translation, another idea soon cropped up thanks to the wonderful T. Olmsted of BookSexy Review: a dedicated month for championing women in translation.
And so WIT Month is born.
WIT Month will be held in August of this year (2014), with two simple goals in mind:
- Increase the dialogue and discussion about women writers in translation
- Read more books by women in translation
Readers interested in participating can show their stripes using the above button. I'll be keeping a list of participants and all related posts in the new section here on the blog, right next to the newly updating list of recommended literature in translation by women. Links to posts, reviews, thoughts or anything related to WIT Month can be left in comments, emailed to me (biblibio at gmail), tweeted to @Biblibio or using either the #WITMonth or #WomenInTranslation tags on Twitter. This is a growing project, with no fixed schedule yet, so make your voices heard! If you have any ideas for specific events or topics to discuss over the course of August, please share them. We'll be trying to build some kind of loose schedule over the coming weeks, and your input is not only helpful, it's necessary.
Any and all feedback welcome! We would love to hear your ideas in an effort to make Women in Translation Month interesting, educational, entertaining, and enlightening. Spread the word, tell your friends, neighbors, dogs and cats. Stock your bookshelves and get your bookmarks read. August is coming.