22 Essential Women Writers to Read in Translation

2015 has seen Can Xue’s The Last Lover honored with the Best Translated Book Award and the publication of the great Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, so one could be forgiven for thinking that translated literature by women writers is a mainstay of the American publishing scene — it isn’t. As Meytal Radzinski of the blog Bibliobio points out, women writers represent only 30% of translations into English. Not to mention, as Radzinksi also explains, “women writers in translation seem significantly less likely to get profiled by major literary outlets and are less likely to have their books sent for review.”

With this in mind, and given that August is Women in Translation Month (or WITMO2015), we decided to put together a starter list of essential women writers in translation. Certainly it’s an incomplete list, but we did our best to take the long view, from Murasaki Shikibu to Minae Mizumura.