Founded by Meytal Radzinski in 2014, Women in Translation Month aims to celebrate women and other marginalized genders in translation around the world. As stated on their site, only 36% of books translated into English come from non-European countries and less than 31% of English translations are written by women. With so few Women in Translation published each year, #WITMonth aims to shine a light on the works of women from all walks of life whose work has been translated from one language to another.
Women in translation hold a special place in my heart, and for the past few years, I co-hosted there #WITReadathon with my friends Matthew Sciarrappa and Jennifer Helinek. To inspire female readers to pick up more books written by women in translation, we recommended reading lists, prompts to inspire participants, and group reading. Don’t hesitate to join us from August 8 to 14!
As a disabled reader who primarily uses audiobooks, I often have trouble finding women’s books translated into audio. These books are often published by small presses or independent presses that don’t have the resources to create an audiobook for every title. So whenever I see a woman’s audiobook in translation, I add it to my TBR, making note of it for later. So if you’re looking for more audiobooks for your Women in Translation Month celebration, here are some great options!
A winter promise by Christelle Dabos | Translated by Hildegarde Serle | Narrated by Emma Fenney
Emma Fenney’s performance captures the ethereal, fairytale feel of A winter promise. In this world, giant arches of earth float suspended in space, like small countries suspended in the air. Ophelia is engaged to a prince from another ark, which she isn’t exactly thrilled about. But upon her arrival, she finds herself embroiled in the political machinations of the haves of this Ark of the Far North.
Out by Natsuo Kirino | Translated by Stephen Snyder | Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
All-Star audiobook narrator Emily Woo Zeller performs this novel about four Japanese women embroiled in a crime of passion. When a member of their group kills her husband in self-defense, what follows is a story filled with secrets and dangerous gangsters.
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto | Translated by Megan Backus | Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
Mikage is devastated when her grandmother, the woman who raised her, passes away. Consumed by her grief, Mikage moves in with Yoichi and her mother. This sets the stage for the warm ambiance of the novel as the misfit family settles into the warm glow of the home’s kitchen.
Greenengage Tree Lighting by Shokoofeh Azar | Translated by Adrien Kijek | Reported by Priya Ayyar
Inspired by Iranian folklore, Shokoofeh Azar tells a story full of seemingly magical events. A family flees their home in a major Iranian city to take refuge in the countryside. Each member of the family experiences their fantastic awakening, discovering the world in a completely new way.
Lemon by Yeo-sun Kwon | Translated by Janet Hong | Narrated by Greta Jung, Jaine Ye and Greg Chun
Greta Jung, Jaine Ye and Greg Chun perform this gripping tail of betrayal and devastation. Da-on’s life changes forever when his sister is murdered. As the authorities’ investigation drags on for years, Da-on loses hope of ever feeling peace. Will her sister’s death haunt her forever?
Jacob’s Books by Olga Tokarczuk | Translated by Jennifer Croft | Reported by Allen Lewis Rickman and Gilli Messer
Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel Prize for Literature, returns with her masterpiece, Jacob’s Books, finally translated into English. This lengthy audiobook is 35 hours long, but well worth it. Set in the middle of the 18th century, Jacob’s Books features Jacob Frank, a young Jewish man with the surprising ability to charm those around him. Over the decades, it reinvents itself again and again, each time captivating its audience.
earth eater by Dolores Reyes | Translated by Julia Sanches | Narrated by Frankie Corzo
In Argentina, a young woman discovers that eating the earth gives her a vision of the truth. Terrified by her fear, she is silent. But she can’t resist the visions she has when the taste of dirt hits her tongue. Soon, others discover his gift and begin to ask him for help.
Tender is the flesh by Agustina Bazterrica | Translated by Sarah Moses | Narrated by Joseph Balderrama
In a world where animal meat is now toxic, Marcos lives in a world that now eats human flesh. Officials say they have no other choice. Today, society is divided between “real people” and consumer specimens. When Marcos acquires a female specimen, he begins to treat her like a pet and not quite think of her as the animal he was told.
The lying life of adults by Elena Ferrante | Translated by Ann Goldstein | Narrated by Marisa Tomei
One day, Giovanna’s father tells her that she is ugly. “Ugly as her aunt.” Having never heard of this aunt before, she decided to find out who and where her aunt is. This search set off a series of events that will inevitably pull Giovanna from her happy childhood into her tumultuous adulthood.
The Night Singer by Johanna Mo | Translated by Alice Menzies | Narrated by Kirsten Potter
Detective Hannah Duncker fled her hometown after her father was convicted of murder. Now she’s back and investigating the death of a 15-year-old girl. As she interviews witnesses and family members, Hannah must confront the people she left behind.
For more women in translation audiobooks, check out 6 Audiobooks for Women in Translation Month and 10 More Women in Translation Audiobooks.