World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2018

December 11, 2018

A collage of some of the titles featured in this year's list

 

As the year’s news of rising nationalistic strains and attacks against the press continued, the urgent need for translation became ever more apparent. More and more, translation across borders embodies resistance. Honoring all those who take part in this important work, we again offer 75 of the year’s English literary translations. An admittedly incomplete curation, we invite you to extend the list by adding your own favorites in the comments. You can also share those you’re most eagerly anticipating in 2019 by using the hashtag #2019Reads on Twitter and Facebook. Are you looking forward to Lisa C. Hayden’s translation of Guzel Yakhina’s Zuleikha? Jim Tucker’s translation of Zsófia Bán’s Night School: A Reader for Grownups? Let us know.

And finally, thank you for being in conversation with us throughout this past year. We look forward to continuing to serve as your passport to great global reading in 2019.

Manzoor Ahtesham, The Tale of the Missing Man, trans. Jason Grunebaum & Ulrike Stark (Northwestern University Press)

Yvan Alagbé, Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (New York Review Comics)

Gabriela Alemán, Poso Wells, trans. Dick Cluster (City Lights Books) 

Ahmet Altan, Like a Sword Wound, trans. Brendan Freely & Yelda Türedi (Europa Editions)

Maxim Amelin, The Joyous Science: Selected Poems of Maxim Amelin, trans. Derek Mong & Anne O. Fisher (White Pine Press)

Nathacha Appanah, Waiting for Tomorrow, trans. Geoffrey Strachan (Graywolf Press)

Pénélope Bagieu, Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, trans. Montana Kane (Ebury Press)

Giorgio Bassani, The Novel of Ferrara, trans. Jamie McKendrick (W. W. Norton)

Maïssa Bey, Do You Hear in the Mountains . . . and Other Stories, trans. Erin Lamm (University of Virginia Press)

Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Empty Set, trans. Christina MacSweeney (Coffee House Press)

Therese Bohman, Eventide, trans. Marlaine Delargy (Other Press)

Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde, What We Owe, trans. Elizabeth Jane Clark Wessel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Tanella Boni, The Future Has an Appointment with the Dawn, trans. Todd Fredson (University of Nebraska Press)

Beatriz Bracher, I Didn’t Talk, trans. Adam Morris (New Directions)

Dror Burstein, Muck, trans. Gabriel Levin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Arnaldo Calveyra, Letters So That Happiness, trans. Elizabeth Zuba (Ugly Duckling Press)

José Manuel Cardona, Birnam Wood / El Bosque de Birnam: A Poetic Anthology, trans. Hélène Cardona (Salmon Poetry)

Paolo Cognetti, The Eight Mountains, trans. Simon Carnell & Erica Segre (Atria)

Mia Couto, Woman of the Ashes, trans. David Brookshaw (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Christelle Dabos, A Winter’s Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet, trans. Hildegarde Serle (Europa Editions)

Jabbour Douaihy, Printed in Beirut, trans. Paula Haydar (Interlink)

Gaël Faye, Small Country, trans. Sarah Ardizzone (Hogarth)

Rodrigo Fresán, The Bottom of the Sky, trans. Will Vanderhyden (Open Letter)

Julián Fuks, Resistance, trans. Daniel Hahn (Charco Press)

Inga Gaile, 30 Questions People Don’t Ask: Selected Poems, trans. Ieva Lešinska (Pleiades Press)

Alisa Ganieva, Bride and Groom, trans. Carol Apollonio (Deep Vellum)

Margarita García Robayo, Fish Soup, trans. Charlotte Coombe (Charco Press)

Stella Gitano, Withered Flowers: Short Stories, trans. Anthony Calderbank (Rafiki)

Hubert Haddad, Desirable Body, trans. Alyson Waters (Yale University Press)

Nora Ikstena, Soviet Milk, trans. Margita Gailitis (Peirene Press)

Jin Eun-young, We, Day by Day, trans. Daniel Parker & YoungShil Ji (White Pine Press)

Uwe Johnson, Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl, trans. Damion Searls (NYRB)

Najla Jraissaty Khoury, ed., Pearls on a Branch: Tales from the Arab World Told by Women, trans. Inea Bushnaq (Archipelago Books)

Mieko Kawakami, Ms Ice Sandwich, trans. Louise Heal Kawai (Pushkin Press)

Esther Kinsky, River, trans. Iain Galbraith (Transit Books)

Ibrahim al-Koni, The Fetishists, trans. William M. Hutchins (University of Texas Press)

Roque Larraquy, Comemadre, trans. Heather Cleary (Coffee House Press)

Cixin Liu, Ball Lightning, trans. Joel Martinsen (Tor Books)

Luljeta Lleshanaku, Negative Space, trans. Ani Gjika (New Directions)

Shahriar Mandanipour, Moon Brow, trans. Sara Khalili (Restless Books)

Brice Matthieussent, Revenge of the Translator, trans. Emma Ramadan (Deep Vellum) 

Dunya Mikhail, The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq, trans. Max Weiss & Dunya Mikhail (New Directions)

Yukiko Motoya, The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories, trans. Asa Yoneda (Soft Skull Press)

Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore, trans. Phillip Gabriel & Ted Goossen (Knopf)

Perumal Murugan, One Part Woman, trans. Aniruddhan Vasudevan (Black Cat) 

Trifonia Melibea Obono, La Bastarda, trans. Lawrence Schimel (Feminist Press) 

Ondjaki, Transparent City, trans. Stephen Henighan (Biblioasis)

Masatsugu Ono, Lion Cross Point, trans. Angus Turvill (Two Lines Press)

Anna Maria Ortese, Neapolitan Chronicles, trans. Ann Goldstein & Jenny McPhee (New Vessel Press)

Gunnhild Øyehaug, Wait, Blink: A Perfect Picture of Inner Life, trans. Kari Dickson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Abdulla Pashew, Dictionary of Midnight, trans. Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse (Phoneme Media) 

Hagar Peeters, Malva, trans. Vivien Glass (DoppelHouse Press) 

Sergio Pitol, Mephisto’s Waltz, trans. George Henson (Deep Vellum) 

Alejandra Pizarnik, The Galloping Hour: French Poems, trans. Patricio Ferrari & Forrest Gander (New Directions) 

Agneta Pleijel, Sister and Brother: A Family Story, trans. Harald Hille (Gallaudet University Press)

The Popol Vuh, trans. Michael Bazzett (Milkweed Editions)

Edy Poppy, Anatomy. Monotony., trans. May-Brit Akerholt (Dalkey Archive)

Nayrouz Qarmout, The Sea Cloak and Other Stories, trans. Perween Richards (Comma Press) 

Roberto Ransom, Missing Persons, Animals, and Artists, trans. Daniel Shapiro (Swan Isle Press)

Shahad Al Rawi, The Baghdad Clock, trans. Luke Leafgren (Oneworld)

Yasmina Reza, Babylon, trans. Linda Asher (Seven Stories)

Jérôme Ruillier, The Strange, trans. Hegle Dacher (Drawn & Quarterly)

Ahmed Saadawi, Frankenstein in Baghdad, trans. Jonathan Wright (Penguin Books)

Evelyn Schlag, All Under One Roof, trans. Karen Leeder (Carcanet)

Ófeigur Sigurðsson, Öræfi: The Wasteland, trans. Lytton Smith (Deep Vellum)

Ersi Sotiropoulos, What’s Left of the Night, trans. Karen Emmerich (New Vessel Press)

Ulf Stark, My Little Small, ill. Linda Bondestam; trans. Annie Prime (Enchanted Lion)

Ellisiv Stifoss-Hanssen, Let Me Sleep until This Is Just a Dream, trans. May-Brit Akerholt (Dalkey Archive Press)

Su Wei, The Invisible Valley, trans. Austin Woerner (Small Beer Press)

Yoko Tawada, The Emissary, trans. Margaret Mitsutani (New Directions)

Olga Tokarczuk, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Text Publishing)

Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir, Stormwarning, trans. K. B. Thors (Phoneme Media)

Dubravka Ugrešić, Fox, trans. Ellen Elias-Bursać & David Williams (Open Letter) 

Eugene Vodolazkin, The Aviator, trans. Lisa Hayden (Oneworld)

Mikhail Zoshchenko, Sentimental Tales, trans. Boris Dralyuk (Columbia University Press)

Michelle Johnson is World Literature Today’s managing and culture editor.

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