Looking for a new perspective? Try one of these translated titles written by women this month. #WITMonth
Scattered All Over the Earth by Yōko Tawada
Welcome to the not-too-distant future: Japan, having vanished from the face of the earth, is now remembered as “the land of sushi.” Hiruko, its former citizen and a climate refugee herself, has a job teaching immigrant children in Denmark with her invented language Panska (Pan-Scandinavian): “homemade language. no country to stay in. three countries I experienced. insufficient space in brain. so made new language. homemade language.” As she searches for anyone who can still speak her mother tongue, Hiruko soon makes new friends.
The Fawn by Magda Szabó
From the author of The Door and Abigail and for fans of Elena Ferrante and Clarice Lispector, a newly translated novel about a theater star who is forced to reckon with her painful and tragic past. In The Door, in Iza’s Ballad, and in Abigail, Magda Szabó describes the complex relationships between women of different ages and backgrounds with an astute and unsparing eye. Eszter, the narrator and protagonist of The Fawn, may well be Szabó’s most fascinating creation.
Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector
Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called “Hurricane Clarice”: a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: “He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life.”
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. Chopin’s heart is carried back to Warsaw in secret by his adoring sister. A woman must return to her native Poland in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart, and a young man slowly descends into madness when his wife and child mysteriously vanish during a vacation and just as suddenly reappear.
All our Yesterdays by Natalia Ginzburg
This powerful novel is set against the background of Italy from 1939 to 1944, from the anxious months before the country entered the war, through the war years, to the allied victory with its trailing wake of anxiety, disappointment, and grief. In the foreground are the members of two families. One is rich, the other is not. In All Our Yesterdays, as in all of Ms. Ginzburg’s novels, terrible things happen–suicide, murder, air raids, and bombings. But seemingly less overwhelming events, like a family quarrel, adultery, or a deception, are given equal space, as if to say that, to a victim, adultery and air raids can be equally maiming. All Our Yesterdays gives a sharp portrait of a society hungry for change, but betrayed by war.
Forbidden Notebook by Alba de Cespedes
Valeria Cossati never suspected how unhappy she had become with the shabby gentility of her bourgeois life–until she begins to jot down her thoughts and feelings in a little black book she keeps hidden in a closet. This new secret activity leads her to scrutinize herself and her life more closely, and she soon realizes that her individuality is being stifled by her devotion and sense of duty toward her husband, daughter, and son. As the conflicts between parents and children, husband and wife, and friends and lovers intensify, what goes on behind the Cossatis’ facade of middle-class respectability gradually comes to light, tearing the family’s fragile fabric apart.