Recommendations: Translated Fiction

This is a post I have meant to make for a while. I have read a lot of great books in translation recently, and there are many of them which I want to recommend. Here are some of my favourite translated books.

  1. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein)


This is the first book in the much-acclaimed Neapolitan novels, and I loved it so much. It is the coming of age story of two girls that began in the 1950s, and it was so good.

2. The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translated from the Chinese by Ken Liu)


Anything by Cixin Liu, really. The Three Body Problem is one of the best sci-fi books I’ve ever read, and Cixin Liu has fast become one of my favourite authors.

3. Vita Nostra by Sergei and Marina Dyachenko (translated from the Russian by Julia Meitov Hersey)


This is a fantasy set in a boarding school, but not your typical school-based fantasy. It  involves philosophy and linguistics and is deep and rather psychological. Definitely worth the read.

4. Perfume by Patrick Susskind (translated from the German  by John. E. Woods)


This is a really dark tale set in 18th century France about a man with an unusually powerful sense of  smell. It is one of the darkest, most unsettling books I’ve ever read.

5. The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski (translated from the Polish by David French)

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The Witcher series is one that has become really popular after the series came out, and for good reason. I really enjoyed the immersive world-building and plot of these fantasy books.

6. Confessions by Kanae Minato (translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder)


This is one of the darkest stories I’ve read. It follows a middle-school teacher who plans to take revenge on the students who killed her daughter, and is such a thrilling read.

7. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takamori)

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This was one of my favourite books last year. A meditation on what it is like to not fit in with society as viewed through the eyes of a convenience store worker, this was a brilliant book. Earthlings by Sayaka Murata is another great book.

8. Beartown by Fredrik Backman (translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith)

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This was another of my favourites from last year. Set in a small hockey-obsessed town in Sweden, it follows the lives of several people, and the aftermath of the horrific rape of a young girl by the star hockey player. It dealt with some serious and important topics in a really poignant way.




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