Top 100 Books by Women Writers in Translation 2019

Women in Translation Month 2019 is drawing to a close, and @Biblibio (otherwise known as the inventor of Women in Translation Month) has just put the cherry on the sundae by releasing a list of the top 100 books by women writers in translation according to the readers of her blog who were invited to nominate their favorite titles via Twitter over the course of the summer. In the end, she reports, nearly 800 unique titles were nominated. Most got only a single vote apiece, but the top 100 are all distinguished by getting between 4 and 26 votes apiece. In case you’re wondering what book was chosen by 26 different followers of the #WomenInTranslation hashtag, it’s My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein – the first book in Ferrante’s Neapolitan tetralogy. I’m Team Ferrante all the way, so am energetically exulting over here. The runner-up (with 24 votes) was another book I’m a huge fan of, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, translated by Deborah Smith, a book that rose precipitously to fame after being selected as the winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. Han Kang’s book Human Acts (also translated by Smith) was tied for fourth place (along with Magda Szabó’s The Door, translated by Len Rix; Olga Tokarczuk’s 2018 Man Booker International winning Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft; and Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori). In third place was the lovely and spooky Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell. And if you’d like to see the rest of the books on the list, you’ll have to hop over to the Biblibio blog. I don’t want to hear anyone complaining you don’t have anything to read! Get thee to your neighborhood bookstore or library, and dig in!

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