Introducing our #WITMonth guest editor, Jess Andoh-Thayre

Introducing our #WITMonth guest editor, Jess Andoh-Thayre

My name is Jess Andoh-Thayre, 35, from London but currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

I am a French, Spanish and English teacher, translator, avid reader and now blogger.

I am really excited about this year’s #WITMonth, although this year I won’t be able to read as much as normal as I gave birth to my son, L just under under 2 months ago. He is an utter delight but I am now only managing 1-2 books a month compared to 4-6 in times gone by.

In October 2018,  I started my book project called Around the World One Female Novelist at a Time, which I have turned into a blog called Women Writers Worldwide, which you can follow here. You can also track my book project on this interactive map.

Contemplating another book whilst in Bournemouth, England last summer!

What a treat to be invited to be the guest editor for #WomenInTranslation Month this year for the GLLI blog. #WomenInTranslation Month was started by Meytal Radzinki, in an attempt to address the gender imbalance in translated literature and to increase the number of international women’s voices accessible to a global readership.

 It is thanks to Meytal and the #WIT twitter community that I have read as many books as I have. If you are on Twitter, look for the hashtag #WiTmonth and  follow people like TranslateWomenMillieMargretta and Read_WIT and @GlobalLitIn.

How did my project begin?

One morning in October 2018, I logged into Twitter and read an article written by Sophie Baggott. In her article, Sophie (Baggott) writes that “the number of novels by women that reach the English language remains shockingly low, therefore she wanted to read as many books written by women from as many countries as possible.” Editor’s note: Sophie Baggot was our GLLI January 2020 guest editor. You can read posts by her on our blog, and her triumphant finish to her reading project here.

I loved the premise of this idea, to read a novel written by a woman from every country in the world, so I can recognise a great idea when I see one.

So, that morning I tweeted asking for ideas and ten minutes later, I  received my first recommendation from a friend. She said:

“ Love this. I recommend Une si longue lettre by Mariame Ba for your Senegalese novel!.”

So here I am 123 countries and many blog entries later! What a joy it has been to see the world through the pen and lens of such a range of diverse female writers. It has been a struggle to pick just 26 books but I hope you will enjoy the books I have selected. 

Please do share your book discoveries with me, I read in French, Spanish and English. My twitter handle is @JessAndohThayre.

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