Thursday, August 6, 2015

WITMonth Day 6 - Queer Literature Challenge

Here's the thing about the queer literature challenge - it's hard. It's hard no matter what genre you choose to look at, no matter what subfield of literature you're investigating and focusing on. There simply isn't much queer literature in the world today, and unsurprisingly there isn't that much in translation either. And of course... for women in translation this component is all but invisible. That said, there is a respectable amount of queer women writers in translation, as well as books about queer topics written by women, which do qualify for the challenge and provide us with an additional (necessary) dimension.

I am certain this list is not only incomplete, but unfair in many regards; I am listing authors alongside novels and stories with queer characters. I am also using the broader definitions, such that this list includes LGBTQA+ to the best of my knowledge as well as less defined terms such as Boston Marriages*, alongside novels which specifically focus on queer characters or romances. This list is obviously largely hindered by my own research inabilities, and I strongly encourage readers to continue the effort!
  • Sphinx - Anna Garréta (French; tr. Emma Ramadan)
  • Aimée & Jaguar - Erica Fischer (German; tr. Edna McCown)
  • Yona Wallach (Hebrew)
  • Tove Jansson (Swedish)
  • Nicole Brossard (French [Montreal])
  • Nancy Cárdenas (Spanish [Mexico])
  • Qiu Miaojin (Chinese [Taiwan])
  • Selma Lagerlöf (Swedish)
  • Violette Leduc (French)
  • Sappho (Greek)
  • Marina Tsvetaeva (Russian)
  • Sophia Parnok (Russian)
  • Sirena Selena - Mayra Santos-Febres (Spanish [Puerto Rico])
  • Marguerite Yourcenar (French)
  • Sworn Virgin - Elvira Dones (Italian [Albania]; tr. Clarissa Botsford)
  • ...and many others!
While this isn't a particularly long list, it's certainly an improvement from last year (when I was aware of only one or two books) and it's a pretty good place to start (despite being incredibly and disappointingly Euro-centric). Hopefully these lists will continue to grow as I both broaden my own horizons, and as more and more women writers from around the world are translated into English.

* Definition; also the name of my sister's other band (the one that doesn't include me)

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