It is August and we’re excited to be celebrating Women in Translation Month alongside a host of booksellers, bloggers, publishers and libraries. With only 30% of translated fiction being written by women, it is as important as ever to encourage readers to seek out translated texts by women.
SO, we’ve delved into our backlist and put together a list of our top titles written by women for your reading pleasure. We are also offering a discount on all of these titles through Al Saqi Books so get clicking and reading!
Originally published in Jerusalem, Wild Thorns was the first Arab novel to offer a glimpse of social and personal relations under Israeli occupation. Featuring unsentimental portrayals of everyday life, its deep sincerity, uncompromising honesty and rich emotional core plead elegantly for the cause of survival in the face of oppression.
Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, this is a brave, accomplished, witty novel about a young woman who leaves Zagreb for Amsterdam and finds herself teaching the literature of ex-Yugoslavia to ex-Yugoslavs. It is a beautiful meditation on lost homes and territories, and our ability to survive and to tell the stories of our survival, even when scarred and deprived by war and banishment of those myths we once claimed as signifiers of our identity.
A magical concoction of fairy tale and poem. Exquisitely translated by Jennifer Wang Medina, Oh Jung-Hee’s shining tale of a childhood trapped between ancient and modern worlds in late twentieth century Korea delights with its imagery and the spirit of its characters even while it disturbs with a dark vision of freedom curtailed.
Set on the Sardinian coast, While the Shark is Sleeping tells the story of the unconventional Sevilla Mendoza family and a young girl in the throes of a dangerous affair with a married man. It is a violent and enchanting story about the loss of innocence and the desire to be loved.
Nawal El Saadawi is an internationally renowned, award-winning Egyptian writer and activist that has come to embody the trials of Arab feminism. This powerful and poetic novel reveals the underlying hypocrisy of any male-dominated religious state, and the insufferable predicament of women in a society.
AND as a special treat, you can read a short story by Rasha Abbas as featured in Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline.