In celebration of Women in Translation month, we’ve brought together some of the best of our 2022 titles from sensational women writers from all over the world. Whether already released or still to come, the outstanding publications below stretch over a range of captivating genres, from mysteries to bildungsroman to LGBTQ+ to thrillers and more. Travel across different cultures, become enraptured in spellbinding prose and poetry, and explore wonderful women’s writings, translated from around the globe.
Cocoon by Zhang Yueran, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang
World Editions, 9781912987283, p/b, £13.99, 06/10/2022
A powerful bond of friendship formed in childhood in the 1980s reunites Cheng Gong and Li Jiaqi decades later. Realising how much they are similar, both are driven to uncover their grandparents’ generation’s secrets hidden behind layers of mystery. Zhang Yueran’s captivating and mesmerising narrative explores the bonds of friendship and its unfaltering power, as the protagonists edge closer to finding out what really happened on that night years ago in 1967.
The Performance by Claudia Petrucci, translated from the Italian by Anne Milano Appel
World Editions, 9781912987313, p/b, £13.99, 04/08/2022
An intense, fiery love triangle between a restless, retired actress, her past theatre director, and her husband. Years after Giorgia had neglected her acting career for a life with Filippo, all it takes is a run-in with her old theatre director Mauro to light her passion ablaze again. Yet when her hunger for her old talent sends her collapsing body to a clinic, Filippo and Mauro are entangled together in an encompassing, seductive game to reclaim Giorgia. Claudia Petrucci blurs boundaries of reality, fantasy, love and possession in her vibrant, outstanding debut novel.
Love, If That’s What It Is by Marijke Schermer, translated from the Dutch by Hester Velmans
World Editions, 9781912987276, p/b, £13.99, 03/02/2022
In Schermer’s impeccable novel on the exploration of the unpredictability of love, divorce encircles an entire family and reveals new identities for each member outside of the nuclear family frame. David’s world is thrown into a complicated whirl when his wife of twenty years leaves him for another, whilst his own two daughters are concurrently each falling in love. Schermer masterfully gives a multi-layered perspective on the effects of divorce — not only the separated couple, but their daughters, and their daughter’s lovers.
Solo Dance by Li Kotomi, translated from the Japanese by Arthur Reiji Morris
World Editions, 9781912987351, p/b, £13.99, 02/06/2022
Working in an office job in Japan, Taiwanese millennial Cho Norie is pressed to keep her hidden homosexuality and her traumatic past from her colleagues to avoid ostracization. An anguished coming-of-age story, this spectacular debut is a poignantly moving narrative about seeking a light at the end of the tunnel after trauma.
Body Kintsugi by Senka Marić, translated from Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth
Peirene Press, 9781908670731, p/b, £12.99, 04/10/2022
Kintsugi is an art from Japan which repairs broken pottery with liquid gold. Senka Marić applies kintsugi as a touching allegory for a woman’s relationship to her body in this raw and intimate prose. Finding a cancerous lump in her armpit shortly after her husband left her, the protagonist feels a breakage from her own body which leaves her with the dispersed remains of her memories of now and of her childhood. Among the vestiges, she takes every piece of her trauma, her adolescence, her sensuality, amidst other parts of herself, to put together something new… but still her own.
Four Minutes by Nataliya Deleva, translated from the Bulgarian by Izidora Angel
Open Letter, 9781948830379, p/b, £11.99, 17/02/2022
Nataliya Deleva is brilliantly resolute in her uncompromising novel on modern life in Eastern Europe. Leah, an orphan who lives in post-communist Bulgaria, struggles to fit into a society who stigmatises her as a gay woman. Alongside Leah’s story, there are nine other characters, each of their sections taking approximately four minutes to read. In this structure, the novel takes a subtle nod to the hypothesis that it take four minutes to build empathy in conversation with someone. Bringing to light those who were traumatised by the USSR, Deleva intertwines many stories to tell a shared experience of an outsider.
Among the Hedges by Sara Mesa, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
Open Letter, 9781948830393, p/b, £12.99, 03/03/2022
A beguiling and provocative story exploring a hidden relationship formed outside of society’s norms. Fourteen-year-old Soon finds a connection with a somewhat childlike fifty-year-old man, his stories of the past and knowledge of birds fascinating to her. When Old Man’s secrets start to be revealed, it would certainly be of serious concern to Soon’s parents. Yet there is a certain warmth to Old Man, a kindness which questions society’s assumptions and examines what is seen as an inappropriate relationship.
Vanda by Marion Brunet, translated from the French by Katherine Gregor
Bitter Lemon Press, 9781913394653, p/b, £8.99, 22/04/2022
Working as a cleaner and living in a beachside shed, Vanda lives a contentedly happy life with her six-old-son Noé. Yet when his father returns to claim custody of him, Vanda is prepared to go to lengths of extreme violence to defend her boy from being taken. Yet, despite having left Vanda before he knew she was pregnant, so is Simon. With brewing, aggressive rage from both parents, Noé is in danger of being caught in the crosshairs.
Dawn by Sevgi Soysal, translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely
Archipelago Books, 9781953861382, p/b, £13.99, 17/11/2022
Sevgi Soysal’s scorching semi-autobiographical novel provides unflinching insight to political repression, police brutality, social injustice, and gender inequality with a sense of dark humour and wit. A single night in a prison cell, a night of interrogation and torture, fills Oya with a resolute strength to fight through the night, to never relive again a painful prison experience. With each sentence filled with fire, Soysal’s powerfully blazing novel is translated into English for the first time.
Kibogo by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti
Archipelago Books, 9781953861368, p/b, £12.99, 15/09/2022
A rare, reflective insight into Rwandan history, retelling the bloody conflict between European Christian missionaries and their fight to supersede ancient Rwandan faith. When a priest is stripped of his robes for merging Christian gospel with Kibogo’s martyrdom, a violent conflict breaks out. Told in four enthrallingly parts, Mukasonga tells Kibogo’s tale in beautiful, hypnotic prose.
A Postcard for Annie by Ida Jessen, translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken
Archipelago Books, 9781953861221, p/b, £13.99, 30/06/2022
A collection of critically acclaimed stories which explore the narratives of several women whose lives are encircled by, or on the brink of, disaster. Entangled in moral dilemmas and twists, Jessen’s invigorating prose brings these stories to life.
Distant Transit by Maja Haderlap, translated from the German by Tess Lewis
Archipelago Books, 9781953861160, p/b, £13.99, 24/03/2022
In this ensnaring collection, Haderlap’s ground-breaking poetry avoids traditional forms and pronounced rhythms. Weaving Solvenia’s beautiful natural world burdened with violent history with transgenerational trauma, Haderlap masterfully moulds language to dissolve borders and create a yearning for a sense of home.
The Carnivorous Plant by Andrea Mayo, translated from the Catalan by Laura McGloughlin
3TimesRebel Press, 9781739823634, p/b, £14.99, 20/10/2022
Love is known to have been all-consuming, but in this seductively entrancing novel, it is biting, intoxicating, suffocating. Inspired by real carnivorous plants from Singapore and Borneo, the central relationship is an entrapment in a toxic relationship. With each chapter starting with the number 1, the intense and disturbing narrative draws in and encompasses the reader into the seemingly never-ending labyrinth of love, power and horror.
Dead Lands by Núria Bendicho, translated from the Catalan by Maruxa Relaño and Martha Tennent
3TimesRebel Press, 9781739823610, p/b, £14.99, 21/07/2022
The violent, fatal shooting of one man reveals a hidden line of cursed ancestry. With each family member in the isolated house a suspect, no-one seems to know who pulled the trigger. A multi-dimensional narrative reveals an archaic world where all characters are burdened by a secret which can never be forgotten.
Mothers Don’t by Katixa Agirre, translated from the Basque by Kristin Addis
3TimesRebel Press, 9781739823603, p/b, £14.99, 21/07/2022
Close to giving birth, the pregnant protagonist of this disturbing yet transfixing discourse is fascinated by another mother who kills her twins out of desperation. Obsessed more with the truth of this crime than with her baby, the protagonist becomes engrossed in creating and writing. Crossing boundaries of societal expectations of mothers, opening unspoken taboos and unfurling radical discourses, Agirre reflects on motherhood and the primitive culpability that comes with becoming a mother.