Saturday, August 23, 2014

WITMonth Day 23 - Brief thoughts on genre fiction

Some of the claims to counter the poor translation rates of women writers has to do with the myth that women write more "genre" fiction than men. I don't want to delve too deeply into that myth in this post (I'll do that another time, don't worry...), but let's give a couple examples of women writers in genre anyways, and a few good resources for readers interested in finding more genre women in translation. As always, please leave more recommendations in the comments! This post in particularly is a bit half-baked, so definite apologies for any glaring omissions...

First of all, anyone interested in sci-fi/fantasy should check out Cheryl Morgan's blog - she's been posting tons of wonderful WITMonth pieces and recommendations, particularly for sci-fi and fantasy writers. Lots to explore there... go check it out!

Next, there's my own obsession admiration of Angélica Gorodischer. I've written about her quite a bit, but really, if I haven't convinced you by now that you should read Kalpa Imperial... I'm just going to keep trying. Read it. It's phenomenal. I'm also going to refer once again to Cornelia Funke (last mentioned in my post about kids/YA books) - her fantasy writing may be geared towards children, but it's rich and rewarding as well.

I'm not a huge thriller/mystery fan myself, but there's no denying there's quite a bit of different eligible books here: I've heard quite a few recommendations for Juli Zeh, for example, and have encountered Camilla Läckberg quite a bit as well. Here, I encourage checking out blogs like Reading Matters, which doesn't specialize in either genre fiction or literature in translation, yet covers quite a bit of both. I know I'm missing a lot here (being largely unfamiliar with the field...) - feel free to share your favorites below!

Finally, a quick list: Sun-mi Hwang's fantasy-fable The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, fantasy elements in Yoko Ogawa's Revenge, and Isabel Allende's magical realism - all different forms of "genre", each literary and unique in their own ways.

Those are my quick jots... who have I missed?


  1. In the genre mystery/thriller there's the great Frédérique Molay, France, and she's been translated into English

  2. Okay, I hereby am convinced to try Angelia Gorodischer! I see that Ursula K. LeGuin is the translator on Kalpa Imperial. That is both awesome in its own right and makes me even more impressed with Ursula K. LeGuin than I was previously.


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