As previously stated, I am celebrating Women In Translation Month along with some other bloggers and publishers. Last year was my first time and I loved it! I did write a wrap up post last year too but it missed some of the reviews of books I finished when the month was over. If you want to celebrate and don’t know what to try here are some recommendations:
This Place Holds No Fear is my reigning favorite. It just hits you right in the gut but makes you grateful for it. The story is essentially about a married couple and how they deal with the husband’s PTSD and the morbid humor he shares with his friends. What makes it fantastic and unique is that all this stems from them being survivors of the WWII Concentration Camps. The wife is of an age that is detached from the horrible episode and though she is aware of it’s existence, doesn’t relate to the horrors of that time in Europe. Everything must be explained to her in a non-textbook kind of way and I found myself stuck in all the little places that we never learn about in school. It’s all the reasons why history isn’t enough to make us appreciate our past and it shows us what literature is for. Here’s my review.
Morning Sea is also sad but beautiful. I kept thinking things were on the cusp of going in a typically fictional way but it never did. It stayed true to the horrors of life but then had this conclusion that brought it all together. It never approaches happy or uplifting but it contributes to the connectedness of the world. It’s hard to explain but there’s a sad beauty to the end and I wish that it wasn’t so honest about what happens. Here’s my review.
The Whispering City is a murder mystery, which is not usually my genre but I’d been having a hard time finding books that had been translated into English and written by a woman that was available from the library, Scribd, or inside my monthly budget for books. This, like most of my books, was a library book. It was a lot of fun too because, as it wasn’t an American murder mystery, it had a different set of acceptable actions associated with what were similar revelations. Here’s my review.
Shuttered Life is about a woman returning to her family home and a lot of drama surrounding it. It was a fun book and an excellent palate cleaner after some of the others had been so dark. Here’s my review.
About the Night was my first book for the month last year and it was a great way to start out. It’s about star-crossed lovers in Israel when it first became a nation again. As you may have guessed, one is Israeli and the other is Palestinian. This was a beautiful romance in the middle of a lot of crazy. As stated above with This Place Holds No Fear, the story showcases what literature does and allows the reader to experience a part of history. Here’s my review.
The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness is fictional, but sometimes it will make you wonder. The problems lies in that it is about an author looking back on her life. It feels so much like a memoir sometimes. It’s a hopeful North Korean coming of age story. The real beauty is in the writing and the way the author puts you inside her protagonists reveries. Here’s my review.
There were a few other books that I had read during this and last year that were translated and a few that I had bailed on. Surprisingly, Kindle First is actually one of my favorite places to get translated books, one of the above actually came from there and of all the following translated books I’d read throughout the years, only one wasn’t a Kindle First.
- The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvior – a classic! the review goes to my former blog because I wasn’t writing this one yet.
- The Unbroken Line of the Moon by Johanne Hildebrandt, translated by Tara F. Chace – phenomenal and highly recommended! I’m waiting for the rest of the series to be translated.
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter by J.S. Drangsholt, translated by Tara F. Chace – hilarious!
- The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann, translated by Alison Layland – romantic and light in a palate cleaner kind of way
- Nirzona (A Love Story) by Abidah El Khalieqy, translated by Annie Tucker – odd but romantic in it’s own way.
Feel free to pick one of these for your WIT Month read this year!