It's been said that of all the books published in English each year, only 3% are translations. This means that by reading translated works, you're sort of entering an exclusive club. That's cool, right? Regardless of your motives, we hope you find something to delight, inform, provoke, or otherwise entertain you from our revolving recommendations here.
Read your way across the globe with these fine selections of translated literature.
Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it.
Primo Levi, the Italian-born chemist once described by Philip Roth as that quicksilver little woodland creature enlivened by the forest's most astute intelligence, has largely been considered a heroic figure in the annals of twentieth-century literature for If This Is a Man, his haunting account of Auschwitz.
Nominated for the 2016 PEN Translation Prize
One of Flavorwire's Top 50 Independent Books of 2015
One of Entropy Magazine's Best Fiction Books of 2015
One of Bookriot's 100 Must-Read Books Translated From French
"Ricardo Piglia may be the best Latin American writer to have appeared since the heyday of Gabriel Garcia Marquez." "Kirkus Reviews"
"Piglia opens a window into a fascinating world, leaving the reader hungry for more." "Publishers Weekly"
One of the BBC's Ten Books to Read (December 2015)
Seiobo a Japanese goddess has a peach tree in her garden that blossoms once every three thousand years: its fruit brings immortality. In Seiobo There Below, we see her returning again and again to mortal realms, searching for a glimpse of perfection. Beauty, in Krasznahorkai's new novel, reflects, however fleetingly, the sacred even if we are mostly unable to bear it.
An unknown observer is watching the residents of a small, closely-knit neighborhood in Cairo's old city, making notes. The college graduate, the street vendors, the political prisoner, the cafe owner, the taxi driver, the beautiful green-eyed young wife with the troll of a husband all are subjects of surveillance.
Born at the close of World War II, 2014 Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano was a young man in his twenties when he burst onto the Parisian literary scene with these three brilliant, angry novels about the wartime Occupation of Paris.
Diorama is both a book of poems and a performance action by the poet Rocio Ceron, who guides the reader on a hallucinatory, spiraling journey through image, language, Mexican history, and soundscapes.
A bestseller in France and winner of Japan's Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat, by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide, is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transient nature of life and idiosyncratic but deeply felt ways of living.
Beauty Is a Wound astonishes from its opening line: One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years....
Featured on Jeff VanderMeer's "Epic List of Favorite Books Read in 2015"
"Rodoreda had bedazzled me by the sensuality with which she reveals things within the atmosphere of her novels."Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"Rodoreda plumbs a sadness that reaches beyond historic circumstances . . . an almost voluptuous vulnerability."Natasha Wimmer, "The Nation"
Nathalie Sarraute's Tropisms is considered one of the defining texts of the nouveau roman movement.
Winner of the 2015 Best Translated Book Award for fiction, presented by Three Percent, a resource for international literature
"Caterva" (meaning "throng" or "horde") tells the story of seven erudite, homeless, and semi-incompetent radicals traveling from city to city in an attempt to foment a revolution: conspiring with striking workers, setting off bombs, and evading the local authorities. But this is no political thriller.
From the author of My Brilliant Friend
"She is among the greatest Italian authors of recent years."-Corriere della Sera
"Ferrante dissects the personal microcosm so well, and with awesome lucidity and precision shows us the meanderings of a woman's mind, the suffering that accompanies being abandoned, and the awful rumbling of time passing."-El Mundo
A New York Times Notable Book of 2015 Michiko Kakutani, The Top Books of 2015, New York Times TIME MagazineTop Ten Books of 2015 Publishers WeeklyBest Books of the Year Financial TimesBest Books of the Year
In the last days of the Venetian Republic, the successive wives of Count Alvise Lanzi suffer mysterious, agonizing deaths. Murder Most Serene offers a cruel portrait of a beautiful but corrupt city-state and its equally extravagant and corrupt inhabitants. Redolent of darkness, death, poison and transgression, it is also an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek Venetian romp.
"Good readers will find something that can be found only in great literature, the kind written by real poets, a literature that dares to venture into the dark with open eyes and that keeps its eyes open no matter what . . . . The literature of the twenty-first century will belong to Neuman and a few of his blood brothers." Roberto Bolano
We were peering into this darkness, criss-crossed with voices, when the change took place: the only real, great change I ve ever happened to witness, and compared to it the rest is nothing. fromThe Complete Cosmicomics
Lucrezia Borgia is one of the most vilified figures in modern history. The daughter of a notorious pope, she was twice betrothed before the age of eleven and thrice married one husband was forced to declare himself impotent and thereby unfit and another was murdered by Lucrezia's own brother, Cesar Borgia.
Named a best book of 2015 by NPR, "The Boston Globe," and "Electric Literature."
"An exuberantly dark first novel." NPR's Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross
**Nominated for the Man Booker International Prize 2016**
**Shortlisted for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Debut African Fiction**
Kraus's iconic WWI drama, a satirical indictment of the glory of war, now in English in its entirety for the first time