August is Women in Translation Month, which honors women authors in translation, and this post is to let you know how it’s being celebrated around the English-speaking world. Please send me events and posts you hear about so I can add them to this post all month long.
One important resource for anyone interested in following #WomenInTranslation is the website Women in Translation, which posts relevant announcements and resources, including the list of books currently being considered for the inaugural Warwick Prize to honor a work in English translation by a woman author. Women in Translation also just reposted those great LitHub lists from last year of previously untranslated women authors whose work ought to be translated. You can also follow Women in Translation on Twitter: @Read_WIT for ongoing recommendations of great new books by women authors.
Women in Translation Month was summoned into being in 2014 by scientist and literary blogger Meytal Radzinski (a.k.a. Biblibio), who quickly found many fellow enthusiasts of international literature eager to help her carry the torch.
I love to hear about publishers and bookstores running Women in Translation Month specials. Tilted Axis Press is sponsoring a book giveaway. English PEN is giving away entire bundles of women-authored books. The American Literary Translators Association is holding a Women in Translation Month fundraising raffle. New Vessel Press is offering a 40% off Women in Translation sale. My local bookstore Book Culture is doing WITMonth interviews and tweeting a book a day. Powell’s Books in Portland, OR is offering 15% off selected WITMonth titles.
And how about reading lists? Here’s a list of books by Arab women in translation. The blog Feminism in Cold Storage has collected a number of other Women in Translation Month reading lists from other book blogs.
And how about some data? According to the Three Percent Translation Database, books by women make up 28.7% of the 4,849 books published during the decade 2008-2018 (including projected titles). You’ll find breakdowns by language, country, and publisher on the Three Percent blog.
And here are some events I’ve been hearing about. Send me more!
Aug. 2: DUBLIN: A Celebration of Women in Translation Month (co-sponsored by the Goethe-Institut Irland) at Dublin’s Hodges Figgis Bookshop with Siobhán Parkinson, Peter Fallon, and Rachel McNicholl.
Aug. 5: NEW YORK (Manhattan): Women in Translation Cocktail Hour at Book Culture Bookstore with Ann Goldstein, John Keene, Nathan Xavier Osorio, and Susan Bernofsky.
Aug. 8: CHICAGO: Women in Translation Month event presenting Jordan Stump on translating Marie NDiaye. Unabridged Bookstore, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 16: GLOUCESTER, MA: The Gloucester Writers Center is including translations by Ani Gjika in a poetry-by-women event in honor of Women in Translation Month.
Aug. 17: NEW YORK (Brooklyn): Women in Translation Month Reading and Discussion (co-sponsored by the PEN America Translation Committee) at Word Bookstore with Bonnie Huie, Elisabeth Jaquette, Julia Sanches, and Madhu Kaza.
Finally, if you’re curious about why we need Women in Translation month and how it came out, check out Katy Derbyshire’s account of its history. Short version: women authors in translation face pretty much the same hurdles and gatekeepers as women writing in English.