August is #WIT – Women In Translation month, a long-term project hosted as always by Meytal at Bilibio. Meytal does a fab job at highlighting the widest possible range of women authors around the whole world, ensuring that we read beyond the Eurocentric publishing world of books in translation.
As always I will join in, but due to a burgeoning review pile, can’t commit to reading more than one or two books. I’ve picked out two which I hope to read, and will also include in my 20 Books of Summer. They are:
What Lots Wife Saw, translated by Yiannis Panas, will be the first book in translation by a Greek author that I have read. I’m looking forward to reading this novel which is not as biblical as you might think – instead it’s a cryptic speculative fiction mystery set in a future where Paris is now a port, and people are getting addicted to a new mineral, violet salt, which sounds rather like the spice in Dune.
The Last Children of Tokyo, translated by Margaret Mitsutani, is another dystopia. set in a Japan ravaged by climate change and disease – the old live on, the young die young. The book concerns Yoshiro, who is a centenarian, bringing up his great-grandson, Mumei – whom he worries will die.
I will also read (thanks to Fitzcarraldo Editions, Virginie Despentes’ unique brand of feminist non-fiction, King Kong Theory, published in mid-August.
I have read three other books by women in translation earlier this year… here are links to them
- The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri – Review – A NF essay written in Italian with a complicated translation pathway.
- The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa – Review – I’ll be rejigging this review for the paperback publication this month for Shiny New Books
- Vernon Subutex 3 by Virginie Despentes – Review – the final part in a French trilogy that will surely become classics of the future.