August has now been declared as “Women in Translation” month (WIT). Bookstores worldwide are being encouraged to feature women-authored books in translation for the month. Many have already enlisted in support. Some of which include, “Ink84” out of London, “Ocelot” in Berlin, as well as other local bookstores around the world.
The declaration hopes to raise attention and awareness to the literary fact that women writers are translated far less often than male writers. This is especially important to female authors who wish to be heard outside their home countries. For all authors, male as well as female, a loss of being able to be translated internationally means the chances for an out-of-domestic literary career, book sales, etc. is relinquished.
Who Started Women in Translation Month?
25-year-old Biology Graduate Student, Meytal Radzinski of Israel, started WIT Month from an idea to an international movement. Radzinski left Israel as a young child for Northern California at age four. She would return to Israel at age 14, bilingual in both English and Hebrew. It was the moment Radzinski went looking for her own literary works in translations, that she fully understood there little-to-no female writers.
Radzinski used her background in Science to turn statistical charts as well as graphs into an online community to grow attention. It was at this point that the idea and the movement took off globally.
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25 Recent Works by Women Writers to Read for #WITmonth
5 Titles by Women, Recommended by Meytal Radzinski:
- “Cockroaches” by Scholastique Mukasonga (tr. Jordan Stump), a truly powerful memoir of the Rwandan genocide.
- “The Bridge of Beyond” by Simone Schwarz-Bart (tr. Barbara Bray), a gorgeously written and also unique book from Guadeloupe.
- “Alphabet” by Inger Christensen (tr. Susanna Nied), one of the most singularly unique poetry books I have ever read, from Denmark.
- “The Budding Tree: Six Stories of Love in Edo” by Aiko Kitahara (tr. Ian MacDonald), woefully underrated as well as absolutely lovely collection of interlinked Japanese stories.
- “Kalpa Imperial: The Greatest Empire That Never Was” by Angélica Gorodischer (tr. Ursula K. Le Guin), one of my forever-favorites in the form of perfect fantasy history from Argentina.
There are events all around the world for WITmonth. From Chicago and New York, to Dublin and Gloucester. Whether it is a library or a bookstore, readers are sure to find events to attend around the globe!