Like fiction? Do you hide a passion for romance novels? What about a penchant for biography? Stepping outside of your literary comfort zone may not be an interest for you, and, to be honest, can sometimes be intimidating. But here’s the catch: It’s almost always worth it.
Our own Boston Public Library has a stellar collection of books in translation by authors from all over the world. Aside from jumping on a plane, there’s no better way to expand your worldview than with an ink-printed trip across the globe.
We’ve put together a list of contemporary female authors whose books are all available at the BPL. So, when you reach for a read for those last few summer beach days or need something to entertain you while taking a road trip before the fall rush, you can explore a perspective that’s new to you.
Cuban born literary powerhouse Cristina Garcia has written a stockpile of books exploring the experiences of Latin American people, particularly women.
Recommended read: “Dreaming in Cuban”
Argentine journalist turned novelist, Mariana Enriquez’s work explores the darkness that political turmoil has spread over the country’s national consciousness.
Recommended read: “Things We Lost in the Fire”
Lauded as a literary prodigy, Helen Oyeyemi has been churning out poetic and moving prose about identity and relationships (and winning awards for it) since 2004.
Recommended read: “The Opposite House”
French novelist and playwright Marie NDiaye wields emotion like a weapon in her evocative, and extensive, repertoire of plays, novels and short stories.
Recommended read: “Trois Femmes Puissantes (Three Strong Women)”
Zimbabwean author Noviolet Bulawayo was the first black African woman to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for her poignant representations of African life.
Recommended read: “We Need New Names”
In 2014, Chika Unigwe was selected for the Hay Festival’s list of 39 sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40 with the talent to define future trends in African literature, for her insightful look into Nigerian experiences.
Recommended read: “On Black Sister’s Street”
Japanese-born writer Hiromi Kawakami is known for her unconventional fiction, poetry and literary criticism. Her intimate written portraits have been translated into more than 15 languages and adapted for film.
Recommended read: “Tread on a Snake”
Yoko Tawada writes uniquely in both Japanese and German, highlighting the way language is tied to perspective and identity and the impact translation has on a narrative.
Recommended read: “The Bridegroom Was a Dog”
Iranian writer Négar Djavadi made the leap from screenwriting to penning novels in 2018 and has been showered with awards (including the Albertine Prize and Lambda Literary Award) since.
Recommended read: “Disoriental”
Basma Abdel Aziz is an Egyptian writer, psychiatrist, visual artist and activist whose fiction carries the same sharp wit and cultural urgency as her weekly newspaper column. In 2016, she was named one of “Foreign Policy’s” Leading Global Thinkers.
Recommended read: “Al-Tabuur (The Queue)”
Fearless American historian Nell Painter left her academic career in middle age to pursue painting and personal writing. Her work on both fronts highlights the unending potential of motivated women.
Recommended read: “Old in Art School”
Talk about having it all, Nadia Hashimi is a pediatrician, a former Democratic candidate for House of Representatives and has authored three internationally bestselling novels rooted in her Afghan heritage.
Recommended read: “The Pearl That Broke Its Shell”