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Top 5 books by women in translation, selected by Daniel Hahn

Translated books truly reflect the vastness of the world in which we live, shaped by language, culture, and experience. Renowned translator Daniel Hahn OBE, chooses five for Women in Translation Month

A book of translation, a daisy and a key

Image: Susanne Jutzeler, Schweiz / suju-foto from Pixabay

August is Women in Translation Month, so writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn has picked five of the best books to kickstart your adventures in other cultures.

Another Person by Kang Hwagil, translation by Clare Richards

This Korean debut is a suspenseful campus novel about the legacy of sexual violence that reads with the pace of a thriller. 

Every Fire You Tend by Sema Kaygusuz, translation by Nicholas Glastonbury

This, from Turkey, is set in the aftermath of an act of great brutality, but it is a vibrant, multi-layered, generational story of guilt.

Solo Dance by Li Kotomi, translation by Arthur Reiji Morris 

Chō Norie decides to start a new life in Japan, where she finds herself reconsidering her identity and exploring how to reconcile it to others’ perceptions. A complex, subtle work. 

Marzahn, Mon Amour by Katja Oskamp, translation by Jo Heinrich 

You had no idea you needed the great contemporary German chiropody novel in your life. A portrait of a community made up of intimate warm, funny stories, unlikely and irresistible.

Pixel by Krisztina Tóth, translation by Owen Good

In the Hungarian Pixel, Tóth assembles 30 short texts, which combine to form a bigger picture. Each vignette, named after a body part, tells a tale of relationships, borders, loss. When read together, the whole is extraordinary.

A Practical Guide to Levitation by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated from Portuguese by Daniel Hahn, is out now (Archipelago Books, £15.99). You can buy most of these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.To support our work buy a copy!

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