And so the Women in Translation (WiT) month has ended. And oh what a beautiful reading spree it was!
As part of WiT, I read female writers that have been translated into English and I managed to read a humble total of six books!
Here is the list:
1. First on my list was When the Dives Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen, translated from Finnish by Lola M. Rogers. This novel is a story of two Estonian cousins and their very different reactions to first Soviet occupation, then Nazi German and then back to Soviet occupation. Told using two parallel timelines, this was my first book by an Estonian writer that also shed a lot of light on a little known aspect of world history: Estonia’s role and struggle for independence during dark periods of occupation. Read the complete Blurb Appreciation Review of this novel here.
2. Next was The M usic of Solitude by Krishna Sobti, translated from Hindi by Vasudha Dalmia. This is a touching tale of two elderly people living in Delhi, Ishan and Aranya, who are diametrically opposite people yet are brought together by proximity and burdensome and very palpable questions of old age and death. Read my complete review here.
3. The third book was Gigi and The Cat, two novellas written by the celebrated French writer, Colette. The first is translated by Roger Senhouse and the second story by Antonia White. Read my complete review here.
4. This one on the list is my favourite among all six. It is The Women’s Courtyard by Khadija Mastur, which is translated from Urdu to English by Daisy Rockwell. The novel narrates the story of Aliya, a young girl embroiled in the politics within her family as well as outside during the Indian freedom/independence struggle. Read the Guest Post review of the novel here.
5. Selected Poems by Russian author, Anna Akhmatova is fifth on this list. This is a beautiful collection that brings out her best. Although, a fair warning: that it does require a little knowledge about her personal life as well as the socio-political scenarios and atrocities at that time. It is definitely a dense read, albeit a powerful one.
6. The final book that I chose was Seeing Red by Chilean author, Lina Meruane, and translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell. This short novel talks about the horrifying consequence of the protagonist’s eyes haemorrhaging and how she and her near and dear ones come to term with her clouded vision and the possibility of complete blindness. Read my complete review here.
That’s all folks!
September is National Translation Month so The Book Cafe is going to be simply extending the Women in Translation month into September and reading more translated works!
Be sure to log in at the end of September to see The Reading Spree for National Translation Month.