It has been a joy and honor to have been the Guest Editor for #WITMonth for the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative blog. I hope you have enjoyed the 26 books I have chosen as much as I have choosing them.
I started this my book project two and a half years ago not knowing where it would take me. I always regarded myself as being well read but I have realised the world of literature beyond English or Spanish speaking authors. What I have loved about this project is I am reading books by authors from countries that I know little about, I am learning about a country’s history, culture and society. That is the beauty of translation; to be taken into a new world that is familiar yet so very different. Two examples of that are Silence of the Chagos or A Spare Life.
I should always stress the importance of the small indie publishers to discover books, authors and translators. They give literature a chance to be read. I have also valued modern tools like Twitter to connect with authors and translators in a way I could never have dreamt of as a child.
I have tried to showcase a variety of authors and not just the best known countries/authors and translators. Of the 26 I have chosen, my top five in no particular order, are:
- 🇨🇴 Holiday Heart is written by Margarita García Robayo, translated by Charlotte Coombe, published by Charco Press. Gender, motherhood, identity, racism, the end of love and dis-belonging are all at the heart of this wonderful novel.
- 🇲🇺 Silence of the Chagos is written by Shenaz Patel and translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman about the plight of the Chagossian people, expelled from their archipelago to enable the United States to build one of their main military bases. It is an eye opening read, it gives a fresh perspective about how the USA’s occupation and colonization impacts others.
- 🇦🇫 Washing the Dust from Our Hearts: Poetry and Prose from Writers of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, translated by Pari and Ahmed Aria. Washing the Dust from Our Hearts: Poetry and Prose is a bilingual anthology, it was first written in English then translated as a whole into Dari (Afghan Persian). The collection is split into five sections: Marriage and Family, Love and Forgiveness, Education, Our Afghanistan and Our Strong Voices. I loved this collection and read it in one sitting. A brilliant insight into life as an Afghan woman. It is a rather poignant selection given the devastating situation Afghan women now find themselves in.
- 🇸🇳 So Long a Letter is written by Mariama Bâ and translated by Modupé Bode-Thomas. This was the very first book I read for this project.
- 🇨🇺 Havana Year Zero is written by Karla Suárez and translated by Christina MacSweeney. Part detective story, part musings of a mathematician, part comedy of errors and part historical novel.
Here are my 26 reads for WIT Month:
1. 🇸🇳 So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ and translated from the French by Modupé Bode-Thomas
2. 🇩🇿 Our Riches/A Bookshop in Algiers by Kaouther Adimi and translated from the French by Chris Andrews
3. 🇵🇹 Now and at the Hour of Our Death by Susana Moreira Marques andranslated from the Portuguese by Julia Sanches
4. 🇸🇻 Slash and Burn by Claudia Hernandez and translated from the Spanish by Julia Sanches
5. 🇫🇷 Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal and translated from the French by Jessica Moore
6. 🇭🇹 Dance on the Volcano by Marie Vieux- Chavet and translated from the French by Kaiama.L.Glover
7. 🇨🇺 Havana Year Zero by Karla Suárez and translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
8. 🇦🇷 🇻🇪 The German Room by Carla Maliandi, translated from the Spanish by Frances Riddle
9. 🇲🇦 Sex and Lies by Leïla Slimani and translated from the French by Sophie Lewis
10. 🇷🇼 Not my Time to Die by Yolande Mukagasana and translated from the French by Zoe Norridge
11. 🇵🇪 Nine Moons by Gabriela Wiener, translated from the Spanish by Jessica Powell
12. 🇲🇽 Tell me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli, translated from the Spanish by Lizzie Davis with Valeria Luiselli
13. 🇲🇲 The Native Tourist: a Holiday Pilgrimage in Myanmar written, illustrated and translated from the Burmese by Ma Thanegi
14. 🇯🇵 Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto,translated from the Japanese by Asa Yoneda
15. 🇨🇳 Half a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang, translated from the Chinese by Karen S. Kingsbury
16. 🇦🇫 Washing the Dust from Our Hearts: Poetry and Prose from Writers of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, translated from the Dari (Afghan Persian) by Pari with Ahmed Aria
17. 🇦🇱 Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones, translated from the Italian by Clarissa Botsford
18. 🇳🇴 A Modern Family by Helga Flatland, translated from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger
19. 🇩🇰 The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen, translated from the Danish by Tiina Nunnally
20. 🇦🇹 I belong to Vienna: a Jewish Family’s Story of Exile and Return by Anna Goldenberg, translated from the German by Alta L. Price
21. 🇨🇮 Akissi: Tales of Mischief by Marguerite Abouet, translated from the French by Judith Taboy and Marie Bédrune
22. 🇨🇴 Holiday Heart by Margarita García Robayo, translated from the Spanish by Charlotte Coombe
23. 🇲🇺 Silence of the Chagos by Shenaz Patel, translated from the French. by Jeffrey Zuckerman
24. 🇲🇰 A Spare life by Lidija Dimkovska, translated from the Macedonian by Christina.E.Kramer
25. 🇨🇫 The Magic Doll by Adrienne Yabouza, translated from the French by Paul Kelly
26. 🇨🇱 Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile by Maria José Ferrada, translated by Lawrence Schimel
Thank you for reading my blog this month. If you would like to continue following my progress, follow my blog and you can find me on twitter and good reads.