30th September is International Translation Day! It was declared by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2017 to foster peace and greater understanding among nations.
It is therefore a great way to end the National Translation Month (also September!) on this day and take a look at the books that were read as part of this month.
Since August was Women in Translation Month, I simply continued that in this month as well! It is always great to read more women writers, don’t you think so?
Here’s the list:
- First up was Shanghai Baby which was written by Wei Hui and translated by Bruce Humes from Chinese. The the novel takes you through Coco’s story, living in Shanghai and trying to write a novel while living with her boyfriend, Tian Tian. Read my full review here.
- Second came A Rag Doll after My Heart. Translated from Marathi by Shruti Nargundkar and written by Anuradha Vaidya, this ‘poetic novel’ is a lovely, though a bit dated and patriarchal, look at a mother and daughter’s bond by evoking it through thought provoking metaphors. Read my full review here.
3. Third was Swarnlata written by Tilottoma Misra and translated from Assamese by Udayon Misra. This was my second favourite from the list since the story is a unique blend of fiction and non fiction and presents a story of three girls’ lives amidst the growing reforms and movements for girl’s education and widow remarriage in pre-Independence India (roughly around 1850s’ onward). Caution: One does need to know a little bit about the various movements that revolved around woman’s rights during that time. A quick Google Search can remedy any confusion though! Read my complete review here.
4. And last came my favourite read of this month, the extremely touching and emotional South Korean translation, Please Look After Mom, written by Kyung-Sook Shin. Translated by Chi-Young Kim, the novel is a haunting story of the events and regrets that transpire after the mother of a family goes missing. Read my full review here.
I did squeeze in another novel in this month, Ruckus on the Road, but that was not related to translation but I was gifting it to a friend and I was intrigued by its adorable cover and illustrations and simply had to read it before gifting it!