Introducing authors from around the world. Check out these translations of foreign language books from across the globe.
By Serge Joncour, Translated by Louise Rogers Lalaurie
Winner of the 2020 Prix Femina, Human Nature charts the transformation of the French countryside through the story of one family against a backdrop of the 1976 drought and the storms of 1999.
As France prepares to see in a new millennium, the country is battered by apocalyptic storms. But holed up on the farm where he and his three sisters grew up, Alexandre seems less afraid of the weather than of the police turning up. Alone in the darkness, he reflects on the end of a rural way of life he once thought could never change. And his thoughts return to the baking hot summer of 1976, when he met Constanze, an environmental activist who fell for the beauty of the countryside, and was prepared to use any means to save it.
Serge Joncour’s impassioned, ambitious novel charts three decades of political, social, and environmental upheaval through the lives of a French farming family, as the delicate bond between the human and natural worlds threatens to snap.
About the Author
Serge Joncour is a French novelist and screenwriter. He was born in Paris in 1961 and studied Philosophy at university before deciding to become a writer. His 2016 novel Repose-toi sur moi won the Prix Interalli. and was published in English in March 2022 under the name Lean on Me.
Louise Rogers Lalaurie is a translator from the French and the author of Matisse: The Books. Her translations have been shortlisted for the CWA Daggers and Best Translated Book Awards.
By Alhierd Bacharevic, Translated from Belarusian by Jim Dingley & Petra Reid
Alindarka’s Children tells the story of Alicia and her brother Avi. The children live in a camp where camp leaders teach them to forget Belarusian and to speak Russian instead. The camp leaders use drugs as well as surgery on the larynx to make children forget their native language. When Alicia and Avi manage to escape into the forest through a hole cut in the wire, they have to fend for themselves as camp leaders pursue them. As a result, Alindarka’s Children is an adult and literary Hansel and Gretel adventure that also works as a manifesto for the Belarusian language. Its translation into Scots and English well reflects the use of Russian and Belarusian in the book.
About the Author
Lhierd Bacharevič was born in Minsk in 1975. In the 1990s, he was the lead singer of the Belarusian-language punk band Pravakacyja (“Provocation”). Bacharevič has worked as a teacher of Belarusian and a journalist, and is one of the founders of the avant-garde group Bum-Bam-Lit. Bacharevič was awarded the 2021 Erwin Piscator Prize, and nominated for the 2021 Republic of Consciousness Prize. His books have been translated into German, French, Polish and Russian. He recently fled Belarus and is now based in Austria. Jim Dingley has translated fiction by Uładzimir Arłou, Natalka Babina, Tania Skarynkina, and Alhierd Bacharevič. Petra Reid is a translator and the author of MacSonnetries.
By Juan Emar, Translated From The Spanish by Megan Mcdowell
In the city of San Agustín de Tango, the banal is hard to tell from the bizarre. In a single day, a man is guillotined for preaching the intellectual pleasures of sex; an ostrich in a zoo, reversing roles, devours a lion; and a man, while urinating, goes bungee jumping through time itself—and manages to escape. Or does he?
Witness the weird machinery of Yesterday, where the Chilean master Juan Emar deploys irony, digression, and giddy repetitions to ratchet up narrative tension again and again and again, in this thrilling whirlwind of the ecstatically unexpected—all wed to the happiest marriage of any novel, ever.
About the Author
Juan Emar is the pen name of Chilean writer, painter, and art critic Álvaro Yáñez Bianchi. Born in Chile in 1893, he was a strong advocate of the artistic avant-garde of the 1920s and 30s, and his critical writings helped revolutionize the art scene in his country. A cult of Emarians, however, always persisted, and after several rediscoveries in the Spanish-speaking world, he is finally getting his international due with the English-language debut of Yesterday, deftly translated by Megan McDowell. Emar’s work offers unique and delirious pleasures, and will be an epiphany to anglophone readers.
By Faleeha Hassan and Translated By William Hutchins
An intimate memoir about coming of age in a tight-knit working-class family during Iraq’s seemingly endless series of wars.
Faleeha Hassan became intimately acquainted with loss and fear while growing up in Najaf, Iraq. Now, in a deeply personal account of her life, she remembers those she has loved and lost. As a young woman, Faleeha hated seeing her father and brother go off to fight, and when she needed to reach them, she broke all the rules by traveling alone to the war’s front lines–just one of many shocking and moving examples of her resilient spirit. Later, after building a life in the US, she realizes that she will coexist with war for most of the years of her life, and so chooses to focus on education for herself and her children. In a world on fire, she finds courage, compassion, and a voice. A testament to endurance and a window into unique aspects of life in the Middle East, Faleeha’s memoir offers an intimate perspective on something wars can’t touch–the loving bonds of family.
About the Author
Faleeha Hassan is a poet, playwright, writer, teacher, and editor who earned her master’s degree in Arabic literature and has published twenty-five books. A nominee for both the Pulitzer and Pushcart Prizes, she is the first woman to write poetry for children in Iraq. Her poems have been translated into twenty-one languages, and she has received numerous awards throughout the Middle East. Hassan is a member of the Iraq Literary Women’s Association, the Sinonu Association in Denmark, the Society of Poets Beyond Limits, and Poets of the World Community. Born in Iraq, she now resides in the United States.
By Yevgenia Belorusets, Translated from the Russian By Eugene Ostashevsky
Out of the impoverished coal regions of Ukraine known as the Donbass, where Russian secret military intervention coexists with banditry and insurgency, the women of Yevgenia Belorusets’s captivating collection of stories emerge from the ruins of a war, still being waged on and off, ever since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity.
Through a series of unexpected encounters, we are pulled into the ordinary lives of these anonymous women: a florist, a cosmetologist, card players, readers of horoscopes, the unemployed, and a witch who catches newborns with a mitt.
One refugee tries unsuccessfully to leave her broken umbrella behind as if it were a sick relative; a private caregiver in a disputed zone saves her elderly charge from the angel of death; a woman sits down on International Women’s Day and can no longer stand up; a soldier decides to marry war.
Belorusets threads these tales of ebullient survival with a mix of humor, verisimilitude, the undramatic, and a profound Gogolian irony. She also weaves in twenty-three photographs that, in lyrical and historical counterpoint, form their own remarkable visual narrative.
About the Author
Yevgenia Belorusets is a Ukrainian photographer, artist and writer. She lives and works in Berlin and Kiev. She is the co-founder of the magazine for literature and art “Prostory” (since 2008) and since 2009 a member of the curatorial group “Hudrada”. She works with video, photography, installations at the intersection of art, literature and social activism. She is involved in a number of social initiatives, including the Art Workers’ Self-defense Initiative (AWSI) and has participated in numerous Ukrainian and international exhibitions on social criticism and socially engaged art.
By Geetanjali Shree
Translated By Daisy Rockwell
Eighty-year-old Ma slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband. Despite her family’s cajoling, she refuses to leave her bed. Her responsible eldest son, Bade, and dutiful, Reebok-sporting daughter-in-law, Bahu, attend to Ma’s every need, while her favorite grandson, the cheerful and gregarious Sid, tries to lift her spirits with his guitar. But it is only after Sid’s younger brother—Serious Son, a young man pathologically incapable of laughing—brings his grandmother a sparkling golden cane covered with butterflies that things begin to change.
With a new lease on life thanks to the cane’s seemingly magical powers, Ma gets out of bed and embarks on a series of adventures that baffle even her unconventional feminist daughter, Beti. She ditches her cumbersome saris, develops a close friendship with a hijra, and sets off on a fateful journey that will turn the family’s understanding of themselves upside down.
About the Author
Geetanjali Shree was born in Mainpuri, India, in 1957. Tomb of Sand is the first of her books to be published in the UK. She has received and been shortlisted for a number of awards and fellowships, and currently lives in New Delhi.
By Stine Pilgaard
Translated from the Danish by Hunter Simpson
A young mother follows her partner to a rural community in West Jutland, Denmark, where he teaches at the local school for adult education. Isolated, she is forced to find her way in a bewildering community and in the inscrutable conversational forms of the local population.
A young woman relocates to an outlying community in West Jutland, Denmark, and is forced to find her way, not only in the bewildering environment of the residential Folk High School, where her partner has been hired to teach, but also in the inscrutable conversational forms of the local population. And on top of it all, there’s the small matter of juggling her roles as mother to a newborn baby and advice columnist in the local newspaper. In this understated and hilarious novel, Stine Pilgaard conjures a tale of venturing into new and uncharted land, of human relationships, dilemmas, and the ways and byways of social intercourse.
About the Author
Stine Pilgaard was born in .rhus in 1984 and grew up in Vejlby-Risskov. She graduated from the Writers’ School in 2010 and has an MA in Danish and media studies from Århus and Copenhagen University respectively. Stine Pilgaard is fascinated by people and the way in which people talk to each other and talk past each other. Both of Pilgaard’s novels take place in a recognizable universe made up of scenes from everyday life and she works with recognizability as a structuring principle in her characters. Most of Pilgaard’s texts revolve around love as a phenomenon and she is interested in when it takes place and why it sometimes ends. She has a fondness for places where the individual lets go of inhibitions, and is completely unfiltered.
By Bora Chung
Translated by Anton Hur
Cursed Bunny is unique and imaginative, blending horror, sci-fi, fairytales, and speculative fiction into stories that defy categorization. By turns thought-provoking and stomach-turning, here monsters take the shapes of furry woodland creatures and danger lurks in unexpected corners of everyday apartment buildings. But in this unforgettable collection, translated by the acclaimed Anton Hur, Chung’s absurd, haunting universe could be our own, illuminating the ills of contemporary society.
“The Head” follows a woman haunted by her own bodily waste. “The Embodiment” takes us into a dystopian gynecology office where a pregnant woman is told that she must find a father for her baby or face horrific consequences. Another story follows a young monster, forced into underground fight rings without knowing the force of his own power. The titular fable centers on a cursed lamp in the approachable shape of a rabbit, fit for a child’s bedroom but for its sinister capabilities.
About the Author
Bora Chung has an MA in Russian and East European area studies from Yale University and a PhD in Slavic literature from Indiana University. She currently teaches Russian language and literature and science fiction studies at Yonsei University, and translates modern literary works from Russian and Polish into Korean.
Anton Hur has translated Man Asia Literary Prize-winner Kyung-Sook Shin’s The Court Dancer and Violets, Booker International Prize-long listed Hwang Sok-yong’s The Prisoner, and many others. He won a PEN/Heim grant for his translation of Bora Chung’s Cursed Bunny. He currently lives in Seoul.
By Audur Jonsdottir
Translated from the Icelandic by Meg Matich
Nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize, Quake: A Novel is a haunting novel-in-translation about Saga, a woman who comes to after an epileptic seizure on a sidewalk along busy Miklabraut Street.
Her three-year-old son is gone. The last thing she remembers is a double-decker bus that no one else can confirm seeing. Over the following days, Saga’s mind is beset by memories and doubts. What happened before her seizure? Who can she trust? And how can she make any sense of her emotions when her memory is so fragmented?
Hailed as Auður Jónsdóttir “best-written novel so far,” Quake is a shocking and revelatory exploration of the blurred lines between fact and fiction, reality and imagination, and where mother ends and child begins.
About the Author
Auður Jónsdóttir was born on March 30, 1973. Auður Jónsdóttir is one of the most accomplished authors writing in Icelandic today. Her novels have aroused interest in Iceland, as well as abroad, for their rare blend of incisive candor and humor.
She won the Icelandic Literary Prize for The People in the Basement and the Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize for Secretaries to the Spirits. Both of these novels were nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize.
Auður Jónsdóttir latest novel, Quake (Stóri skjálfti), became her most successful publication to date and gathered a huge following among Icelandic readers of all ages, strengthening her position as an important writer of her generation.
By Irene Solà
A spellbinding novel that places one family’s tragedies against the uncontainable life force of the land itself.
Near a village high in the Pyrenees, Dom.nec wanders across a ridge, fancying himself more a poet than a farmer, to “reel off his verses over on this side of the mountain.” He gathers black chanterelles and attends to a troubled cow. And then storm clouds swell, full of electrifying power. Reckless, gleeful, they release their bolts of lightning, one of which strikes Domènec. He dies. The ghosts of seventeenth-century witches gather around him, taking up the chanterelles he’d harvested before going on their merry ways. So begins this novel that is as much about the mountains and the mushrooms as it is about the human dramas that unfold in their midst.
About the Author
Irene Solá is a Catalan writer and artist, winner of the European Union Prize for Literature, the Documenta Prize for first novels, the Llibres Anagrama Prize, and the Amadeu Oller Poetry Prize. Her artwork has been exhibited in the Whitechapel Gallery.
By Mónica Ojeda (Author)
Sarah Booker (Translator)
Fernanda and Annelise are so close they are practically sisters: a double image, inseparable. So how does Fernanda end up bound on the floor of a deserted cabin, held hostage by one of her teachers and estranged from Annelise?
When Fernanda, Annelise, and their friends from the Delta Bilingual Academy convene after school, Annelise leads them in thrilling but increasingly dangerous rituals to a rhinestoned, Dior-scented, drag-queen god of her own invention. Even more perilous is the secret Annelise and Fernanda share, rooted in a dare in which violence meets love. Meanwhile, their literature teacher Miss Clara, who is obsessed with imitating her dead mother, struggles to preserve her deteriorating sanity. Each day she edges nearer to a total break with reality.
Interweaving pop culture references and horror concepts drawn from from Herman Melville, H. P. Lovecraft, and anonymous “creepypastas,” Jawbone is an ominous, multivocal novel that explores the terror inherent in the pure potentiality of adolescence and the fine line between desire and fear.
About the Author
Mónica Ojeda Franco is an Ecuadorian writer. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil, followed by a master’s degree from the Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona. She is currently working on her doctorate in Madrid.
By Estelle-Sarah Bulle
Translated by Julia Grawemeyer
This is Antoine’s life story: an ill-fated romance between her upper-class mother and farmer father; a childhood spent deep in the countryside; the splendors and slums of Guadeloupe’s great city, Pointe-à-Pitre; the eruption of modernity; the rifts in a deeply hierarchical society under colonial rule—and the reasons she left it all behind. And to whom might she tell it?
A young woman born on the outskirts of Paris yearns to understand her lineage and métis identity. Her memories of occasional childhood visits are all that connects her to her father’s home. It is at her request that old Aunt Antoine, the eccentric and indomitable matriarch of the Ezechiels, unwinds the unforgettable tale of their family and with it a rich, layered account of Guadeloupe and its diaspora over the course of the twentieth century.
Spanning decades as it crosses the Atlantic, with lush language and vivid descriptions, Estelle-Sarah Bulle’s Where Dogs Bark with Their Tails examines the legacies of capitalism and colonialism, what it means to be caught between worlds, how it feels to lose our most beloved, and what stories might help us reconcile past, present, and future.
About the Author
Estelle-Sarah Bulle was born in Créteil, France, in 1974 to a West Indian father and a Belgian mother. She studied in Paris and Lyon and now resides in Val-d’Oise, France.
Where Dogs Bark with Their Tails is her first novel. The book, devoted to the adventures of a West Indian family between Guadeloupe and mainland France , received rave reviews and won several prizes, including the Stanislas Prize for the first novel in 2018 as well as the Eugène-Dabit Prize for the populist novel.
By Italo Svevo
Translated By Frederika Randall
A newly translated collection of fiction by the influential Italian modernist, continuing on his landmark work Zeno’s Conscience.
A Very Old Man collects five linked stories, parts of an unfinished novel that the great Triestine Italo Svevo wrote at the end of his life, after the international success of Zeno’s Conscience in 1923.
Here Svevo revisits with new vigor and agility themes that fascinated him from the start—aging, deceit, and self-deception, as well as the fragility, fecklessness, and plain foolishness of the bourgeois paterfamilias—even as memories of the recent, terrible slaughter of World War I and the contemporary rise of Italian fascism also cast a shadow over the book’s pages.
It opens with “The Contract,” in which Zeno’s manager, the hardheaded young Olivi, expresses, like the war veterans who were Mussolini’s early followers, a sense of entitlement born of fighting in the trenches. Zeno, by contrast, embodies the confusion and paralysis of the more decorous, although sleepy, way of life associated with the one-time Austro-Hungarian Empire which for so long ruled over Trieste but has now been swept away.
About the Author
Nathaniel Rich is an American novelist and essayist. Rich is the author of several books, was an editor for The Paris Review, and has contributed to several major magazines including The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and The New York Review of Books.
Nathaniel Rich is the author of Second Nature; Losing Earth, a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award; and the novel King Zeno.
Italo Svevo (1861–1928) was an Italian writer, businessman, novelist, playwright, and short story writer. He was a close friend of Irish novelist and poet James Joyce and was a pioneer of the psychological novel in Italy.
By Norman Erikson Pasaribu
Translated By Tiffany Tsao
Inspired by Simone Weil’s concept of ‘decreation’ and drawing on Batak and Christian cultural elements, in Happy Stories, Mostly Pasaribu puts queer characters in situations and plots conventionally filled by hetero characters.
In one story, a staff member is introduced to their new workplace – a department of Heaven devoted to archiving unanswered prayers. In another, a woman’s attempt to vacation in Vietnam after her gay son commits suicide turns into a nightmarish failed escape. And in a speculative-historical third, a young man finds himself haunted by the tale of a giant living in colonial-era Sumatra.
About the Author
A writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, Norman Pasaribu was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1990.
His debut poetry collection Sergius Mencari Bacchus (translated by Tiffany Tsao as Sergius Seeks Bacchus) won first prize in the 2015 Jakarta Arts Council Poetry Manuscript Competition, and was shortlisted in the 2016 Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Poetry.
By Jonas Eika
Translated By Sherilyn Hellberg
From a major new international voice, mesmerizing, inventive fiction that probes the tender places where human longings push through the cracks of a breaking world. Under Cancún’s hard blue sky, a beach boy provides a canvas for tourists’ desires, seeing deep into the world’s underbelly. An enigmatic encounter in Copenhagen takes an IT consultant down a rabbit hole of speculation that proves more seductive than sex. The collapse of a love triangle in London leads to a dangerous, hypnotic addiction. In the Nevada desert, a grieving man tries to merge with an unearthly machine.
After the Sun opens portals to our newest realities, haunting the margins of a globalized world that’s both saturated with yearning and brutally transactional. Infused with an irrepressible urgency, Eika’s fiction seems to have conjured these far-flung characters and their encounters in a single breath. Juxtaposing startling beauty with grotesquery, balancing the hyperrealistic with the fantastical—“as though the worlds he describes are being viewed through an ultraviolet filter,” in one Danish reviewer’s words—he has invented new modes of storytelling for an era when the old ones no longer suffice.
About the Author
After the Sun, his second book, has confirmed Jonas Eika as one of Denmark’s most exciting writers.
Jonas Eika was born in 1991 in Aarhus, Denmark. His debut novel, Marie House Warehouse, was awarded the Bodil & Jørgen Munch-Christensen Prize for emerging Danish writers in 2016. After the Sun was awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2019, as well as the Michael Strunge Prize, the Montana Prize for Fiction, and the Blixen Literary Award. Eika currently lives in Copenhagen.
By Violaine Huisman
Translated By Leslie Camhi
Met by rave reviews in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and more, this stunning translation of Violaine Huisman’s “witty, immersive autofiction showcases a Parisian childhood with a charismatic, depressed parent” (Oprah Daily). Beautiful and magnetic, Catherine, a.k.a. “Maman,” smokes too much, drives too fast, laughs too hard, and loves too extravagantly, and her daughter Violaine wouldn’t have it any other way.
But when Maman is hospitalized after a third divorce and a breakdown, everything changes. Even as Violaine and her sister long for their mother’s return, once she’s back Maman’s violent mood swings and flagrant disregard for personal boundaries soon turn their home into an emotional landmine. As the story of Catherine’s own traumatic childhood and adolescence unfolds, the pieces come together to form an indelible portrait of a mother as irresistible as she is impossible, as triumphant as she is transgressive.
With spectacular ferocity of language, a streak of dark humor, and stunning emotional bravery, The Book of Mother is an exquisitely wrought story of a mother’s dizzying heights and devastating lows, and a daughter who must hold her memory close in order to surrender, and finally move on.
About the Author
Violaine Huisman was born in Paris in 1979, but has lived and worked in New York for over 20 years.
In New York, she ran the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s literary series and has also organized multidisciplinary arts festivals across the city. The Book of Mother is her debut novel. Originally published by Gallimard under the title Fugitive parce que reine, it has been awarded multiple literary prizes, including the Prix Françoise Saga and the Prix Marie Claire.
By Andrey Kurkov
Translated By Boris Dralyuk
With a warm yet political humor, Ukraine’s most famous novelist presents a balanced and illuminating portrait of modern conflict.
Little Starhorodivka, a village of three streets, lies in Ukraine’s Grey Zone, the no-man’s-land between loyalist and separatist forces. Thanks to the lukewarm war of sporadic violence and constant propaganda that has been dragging on for years, only two residents remain: retired safety inspector turned beekeeper Sergey Sergeyich and Pashka, a rival from his schooldays. With little food and no electricity, under constant threat of bombardment, Sergeyich’s one remaining pleasure is his bees. As spring approaches, he knows he must take them far from the Grey Zone so they can collect their pollen in peace. This simple mission on their behalf introduces him to combatants and civilians on both sides of the battle lines: loyalists, separatists, Russian occupiers and Crimean Tatars. Wherever he goes, Sergeyich’s childlike simplicity and strong moral compass disarm everyone he meets. But could these qualities be manipulated to serve an unworthy cause, spelling disaster for him, his bees and his country?
About the Author
Andrey Yuryevich Kurkov is a Ukrainian author and public intellectual who writes in Russian. He is the author of 19 novels, including the bestselling Death and the Penguin, nine books for children, and about 20 documentary, fiction and TV movie scripts.“I write in Russian. I am not a Russian writer,” he said. “Literature is dead in Russia.”
By Malika Moustadraft
Translator Alice Guthrie
A cult classic by Morocco’s foremost writer of life on the margins.
Malika Moustadraf (1969–2006) is a feminist icon in contemporary Moroccan literature, celebrated for her stark interrogation of gender and sexuality in North Africa.
Blood Feast is the complete collection of Moustadraf’s published short fiction: haunting, visceral stories by a master of the genre. A teenage girl suffers through a dystopian rite of passage, a man with kidney disease makes desperate attempts to secure treatment, and a mother schemes to ensure her daughter passes a virginity test.
Delighting in vibrant sensory detail and rich slang, Moustadraf takes an unflinching look at the gendered body, social class, illness, double standards, and desire, as lived by a diverse cast of characters. Blood Feast is a sharp provocation to patriarchal power and a celebration of the life and genius of one of Morocco’s preeminent writers.
About the Author
Alice Guthrie is an independent translator, editor, and curator specializing in contemporary Arabic writing. Widely published since 2008, her work has often focused on subaltern voices, activist art and queerness (winning her the Jules Chametzky Translation Prize 2019). Her bilingual editorial and research work has been part of the movement to decolonise Arabic-English literary translation, as well as its evaluation and publication.
By Titaua Peu
Translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman
Far from Tahiti’s postcard-perfect beaches, Ma and Auguste and five of their nine children live a hand-to-mouth life in destitute, run-down Tenaho. Nine-year-old Pina, abused and neglected in equal measure, is the keeper of her family’s secrets, though the weight of this knowledge soon proves to be a burden no child could ever bear.
A victim of her father’s alcoholic rages and the object of her mother’s anger and indifference, Pina protects her younger sister, Moïra, as best she can, but a tragic accident upsets the precarious equilibrium of the family, setting them on a path to destruction. The fault lines of her family, descendants of Mā’ohi warriors who once fended off European settlers, begin to shift and crack open, laying bare how the past shapes and haunts the present: her brother Pauro falls in love with a Frenchman, her sister Rosa sinks into sexual exploitation as a futile means of escape, her eldest brother August Junior’s addictions and temper may lead him into ruin, and Hannah, the oldest daughter who had escaped to France, is beckoned back home, fearing the worst.
About the Author
Titaua Peu is a Tahitian author known for her politically charged, realistic portrayal of the effects of colonialism on contemporary Polynesia. Peu’s unsparing first novel, Mutismes, was published in 2003, sparking immediate scandal and making her the youngest-ever published Tahitian author at age twenty-eight.