Saturday, August 2, 2014

WITMonth Day 2 - Favorite women writers in translation

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Women in Translation month! Happy August! Hopefully wherever you are in the world, the weather is ripe for some reading and/or long a
nd detailed discussions about books.

We'll ease into WITMonth with an easy topic - who are your favorite women in translation? We may not have enough women getting translated at this time, but there are still quite a few of them out there, and some of them are quite excellent.

So let's start with the author who has written one of my absolute favorite books from the past few years: AngĂ©lica Gorodischer. You'll see Gorodischer's name cropping up in a lot of different posts over the next month, but truthfully - she deserves it. Kalpa Imperial is one of the best books I've ever read, Trafalgar is a great book on its own, and I eagerly await the translation of the rest of her body of work (please please please?).

We've got a few other authors who quickly and comfortably leapt to the top of my list: Inger Christensen, whose Alphabet is a simply stunning poetry book that immediately made me rush out to buy her other books, Gail Hareven, who is a fantastically original Israeli writer whose wide, untranslated backlog I'm eagerly exploring, Yoko Ogawa, who has reached both broad appeal and critical acclaim for her nearly-flawless writing, and Mercè Rodoreda, one of the first lit-in-translation authors I ever encountered whose body of literature continues to intrigue me.

We see here a nice spread of authors - some genre, some niche, some very popular, some sadly altogether obscure. But what keeps these women comfortably on one list is that each is a fantastic writer. These writers hold their own against the established "canon", even as some perhaps fail to garner quite the recognition they deserve.

Next up: A trip to Western Europe.

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