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Explore the World: Works in Translation


While travel broadens the mind, our bank accounts can’t always support our wanderlust. Thankfully, there is great literature written by people from faraway places and different cultures, which is nearly if not as stimulating!

Reading books that have been translated from other languages allows us to experience a new and different perspective. Cities and cultures come alive in fiction in a way they just can’t in traditional guidebooks. Read on for some of our favorite works of translated literature from across the globe.


In 2018 the National Book Foundation established a new National Book Award for Translated Literature and awarded it to The Emissary by Yoko Tawada, translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani. Below are more of our favorite translated titles.

After She's Gone: A Novel by Camilla Grebe, translated from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Mouthful of Birds: Stories by Samanta Schweblin, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, translated from the German and with an afterword by Michael Hofmann (also available as an audiobook on Hoopla)
Often I am Happy: A Novel by Jens Christian Grøndahl, translated from the Danish by the author.
Encircling by Carl Frode Tiller, translated from the Norwegian by Barbara J. Haveland
Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen
Trick by Domenico Starnone, translated from the Italian by Jhumpa Lahiri (also available on Hoopla)
All the Rivers: A Novel by Dorit Rabinyan, translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
The Longest Night by Otto de Kat, translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson
Have I Got a Story for You: More Than a Century of Fiction from the Forward edited by Ezra Glinter; introduction by Dara Horn, translated from the Yiddish
Slave Old Man by Patrick Chamoiseau, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale (ebook only)
Fox by Dubravka Ugresic, translated from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursac and David Williams (also available on Hoopla)
Öræfï by Ófeigur Sigurðsson, translated from Icelandic by Lytton Smith (ebook only)
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori (also available on Hoopla)
Moon Brow by Shahriar Mandanipour, translated from the Persian by Sara Khalili 
Pretty Things by Virginie Despentes, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan (ebook only, on OverDrive and Hoopla)
Congo Inc.: Bismarck’s Testament by In Koli Jean Bofane, translated from the French by Marjolijn de Jager (ebook only)


The Children of Nazis: The Sons and Daughter of Himmler, Göering, Höss, Mengele, and Others -- Living with a Father's Monstrous Legacy by Tania Crasnianski, translated from the French by Molly Grogan.
Godsong: A Verse Translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, with commentary by Amit Majmudar

Would you like to read more books about a particular place? Request a customized book list using My Next Read.


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