August is #WITMonth – celebrating Women in Translation, hosted by Meytal, who has been flying the flag for WIT for many years now. It has a dedicated website HERE.
Traditionally, in preparation I look back at my reading of books by Women in Translation since the end of last summer, and I was surprised that even without the seven books I read during my Nordic FINDS month back in January, I’ve read another eleven. Language-wise, four plus the five Nordic tongues.
Here’s what I read. Scroll to the bottom to see my plans for this August…
• A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery – (10/10) Shiny Review – Superb – a Parisian woman visits Japan after her father, whom she never knew, died and finds herself and love – one of my 2021 books of the year.
• The Writer’s Cats by Muriel Barbery, illus Maria Guitart – (8/10) Review – A fun illustrated look at the author’s writing life as seen through her felines.
• A Storm of Echoes: The Mirror Visitor vol 4 by Christelle Dabos – (6.5/10) Review – Disappointing end to an otherwise superb crossover fantasy sequence.
• Madgermanes by Birgit Weyhe – (9/10) Shiny Review – Graphic novel of the African immigrant experience in Germany and how they were all lied to.
• The Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel – (9/10) Review – Chilling murder mystery based on a real 1920s cold case on a remote farm.
• The Peacock by Isabelle Bogdan – (10/10) Review – Superb comic novel of corporate teambuilding set in a decrepit Scottish mansion.
• River Clyde by Simone Buchholz – (9.5/10) Review – The latest in Buchholz’s brilliant Chastity Riley series takes her to Scotland.
• Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura – (7.5/10) Review – A huge crossover hit in Japan, about a group of school refusers who find a way into the title.
• Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight by Riku Onda – (9.5/10) Review – A break-up novel – each thinks the other committed a murder. So suspenseful.
• The Forgery by Ave Barrera – A struggling artist is employed to make a forgery, but gets caught up a weird situation.
• The Employees by Olga Ravn – Dk (9/10) Review – Unconventional narrative set on board a space ship in the form of witness testimonies. Unnerving.
• The Murder of Halland by Pia Juul – Dk (8/10) Review – An unconventional crime novel, as a new widow has to come to terms with her dead husband’s other life.
• Minna Needs Rehearsal Space by Dorthe Nors – Dk (9/10) Review – A compact novella told as a prose poem.
• Girls Against God by Jenny Hval – N (6/10) Review – Hard to love this novel – a sort of feminist black metal manifesto. Nasty!
• Some Kind of Company by Nan Östman – Sw (9/10) Review A lonely 72-yr-old woman reaches out and finds friendship.
• The Summer Book by Tove Jansson – Fin (10/10) Review Childhood summers on the island with gran – idyllic and wonderful.
• Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir – Is (9/10) Review A quirky Icelandic road trip. Great fun.
• We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal – Sw (8/10) Review Crime set in a hot, sultry summer in the country. First in a series.
Now here’s a picture of a small pile I picked out to choose from next month.
- People From My Neighbourhood by Hiromi Kawakami – micro-fiction – a linked set of short stories (Japan, 2020)
- Marzahn, Mon Amour by Katja Oskamp – a woman retrains as a chiropodist in Berlin and tells her clients’ stories from the neighbourhood (Germany, 2022)
- The Garden Square by Marguerite Duras – a nanny/maid meets a stranger in the gardens while her charge plays. (France, 1955, transl.1959)
- Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto – ‘mothers, transsexuality, bereavement, kitchens, love and tragedy (Japan, 1987, transl .1994)
- Lost World by Patricia Melo – An ex-contract killer sets out on a journey of revenge! (Portugal, 2009)
- Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krein -Five women who have fulfilled their roles as wives, mothers, friends, lovers, daughters. (Germany, 2021)
Which would you read first?
6 thoughts on “Looking forward to #WITMonth 2022”
Highly recommend both Love in Five Acts and Marzahn, Mon Amour, an unusually cheery Peirene.
I haven’t given a lot of thought to what I’ll read yet, but from your pile I would probably pull the Duras!
The two German novels are really very good. Can’t speak for the others.
A fascinating selection of books, Annabel, many of which are completely new to me. I really liked the unconventional, slightly subversive nature of The Murder of Halland too, although I can see why others might find it a little frustrating. Of the other books you’ve read, The Employees is the one that intrigues me the most. It sounds very cleverly constructed.
I loved reading Kitchen last summer. For WIT Month I’m planning to read What Concerns Us by Laura Vogt (a review copy) plus perhaps The Summer Book and The Disaster Tourist from the library.
Good going, and good plans, too. I actually have one (I have two, but I want to use one for Novellas in November, so we’ll see if I get to it), Jokha Alharthi’s “Celestial Bodies” which is about some Omani sisters. Hooray! Happy reading!