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Women in Translation: A Reading List

Verso celebrates Women in Translation Month 2022.

Verso Books23 August 2021

Women in Translation: A Reading List

Happy Women in Translation Month! This reading list seeks to highlight and promote women writers from across all walks of life, all languages, and all experiences.

We are celebrating WITMonth by showcasing our incredible women writers in translation including legends such as Izumi Suzuki, Françoise d’Eaubonne and Rigoberta Menchú.

Until January 2, 2023 at 11:59PM EST, we have 40% off ALL books (see full details here)!

See all our reading lists, including The Year in 10 BooksRadicalize Your NiblingsRadical HappinessTis the Season to Abolish the FamilyUnderstanding the Cost of Living CrisisChristianity and Anticapitalism.

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“To mother is to murder, or close enough,” thinks Johanna, as she looks at the spelling of the two words in Norwegian.

A cat and mouse game of surveillance and psychological torment develops between a middle aged artist and her aging mother in this new novel from Vigdis Hjorth!

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In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fantastical elements are always grounded in the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.

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These pages are illuminated by the enduring courage and passionate sense of justice of an extraordinary woman. 

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Will and Testament is a lyrical meditation on trauma and memory, as well as a furious account of a woman’s struggle to survive and be believed. Vigdis Hjorth’s novel became a controversial literary sensation in Norway and has been translated into 20 languages.

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This is an existential scream of a novel about loneliness (and the postal service!), written in Hjorth’s trademark spare, rhythmic and cutting style.

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Jenny Hval’s latest novel is a radical fusion of feminist theory and experimental horror, and a unique treatise on magic, gender and art.

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This debut novel from critically acclaimed artist and musician Jenny Hval presents a heady and hyper-sensual portrayal of sexual awakening and queer desire.

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Originally published in French in 1974, radical feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne surveyed women’s status around the globe and argued that the stakes of feminist struggles were not about equality but about life and death—for humans and the planet. 

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Polish feminist philosopher Ewa Majewska proposes a specifically feminist politics of antifascism.

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Combining family memoir, literary observation, and social commentary, Liang Hong’s by turns lyrically poetic and movingly raw investigation into the fate of her village became a bestselling book in China and brought her fame. 

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Mithu Sanyal offers a bold, honest and unflinching look at how we think and talk about rape.

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Eileen Traux has written an immersive, incendiary takedown of US asylum procedure and despotism in the Mexican government. Rooted in narratives of individuals who have had to flee their homes due to various mainfestations of ongoing crises, Traux spotlights the human cost of an immigration system that is failing.

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Rossana Rossanda, a legendary figure on the Italian left, reflects on a life of radical commitment. Active as a communist militant in the Italian Resistance against fascism during World War Two, Rossanda rose rapidly in its aftermath, becoming editor of the Communist Party weekly paper and a member of parliament.

Is Mother Dead

Is Mother Dead

**Longlisted for The International Booker Prize 2023**'To mother is to murder, or close enough', thinks Johanna, as she looks at the spelling of the two words in Norwegian. She's recently widowed a...
Terminal Boredom

Terminal Boredom

On a planet where men are contained in ghettoised isolation, women enjoy the fruits of a queer matriarchal utopia -- until a boy escapes and a young woman's perception of the world is violently int...
I, Rigoberta Menchú

I, Rigoberta Menchú

Now a global bestseller, the remarkable life of Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan peasant woman, reflects on the experiences common to many Indian communities in Latin America. Menchú suffered gross i...
Will and Testament
Longlisted for The Millions Best Translated Book Awards for FictionLonglisted for the National Book Award for Translated LiteratureFour siblings. Two summer houses. One terrible secret. When a disp...
Long Live the Post Horn!
Ellinor, a 35-year-old media consultant, has not been feeling herself; she’s not been feeling much at all lately. Far beyond jaded, she picks through an old diary and fails to recognise the woman i...
Girls Against God

Girls Against God

Welcome to 1990s Norway. White picket fences run in neat rows and Christian conservatism runs deep. But as the Artist considers her past, her practice and her hatred, things start stirring themselv...
Paradise Rot

Paradise Rot

"As intriguing and impressive a novelist as she is a musician, Hval is a master of quiet horror and wonder."Chris Kraus, author of I Love DickJo is in a strange new country for university and havi...
Paperback (2018)
Feminism or Death

Feminism or Death

Originally published in French in 1974, radical feminist Francoise d’Eaubonne surveyed women’s status around the globe and argued that the stakes of feminist struggle was not about equality but abo...
Feminist Antifascism
In this exciting, innovative work, Polish feminist philosopher Ewa Majewska maps the creation of feminist counterpublics around the world—spaces of protest and ideas, community and common struggle,...
China in One Village
After a decade away from her ancestral family village, during which she became a writer and literary scholar in Beijing, Liang Hong started visiting her rural hometown in landlocked Hebei province....
From Title IX cases on campus, to #metoo and #timesup, rape is a definitive issue at the heart of feminism, and lately, it’s barely out of the news. Cultural critic Mithu Sanyal is picking up where...
We Built the Wall

We Built the Wall

For decades, the American political asylum process has been used to punish enemies and reward friends of the US government. Refugees from Cuba can walk through an open door. People fleeing Eastern ...
The Comrade from Milan

The Comrade from Milan

In this much-lauded memoir, acclaimed for its blend of literary elegance and political passion, Rossana Rossanda, a legendary figure on the Italian left, reflects on a life of radical commitment.Ac...