Novels in Translation

Want to travel without leaving your home? Take yourself there with a translated novel! Here is a sample of stories from all over the globe to celebrate Welcoming Week.
All descriptions from the catalog.

Celestial Bodies by Jūkhah Ḥārithī (Arabic)
A tense novel tells of Oman’s coming-of-age through the prism of one family’s losses and loves. Winner of the Man Booker International Prize.

Garden by the Sea by Mercè Rodoreda (Catalan)
A Gatsby-esque novel about Spain in the 1920s on the eve of t
he Spanish Civil War is finally available in English for the first time. 

Frog by Mo Yan (Chinese)
Chronicling the history of modern China through a controversial lens, a novel from a winner of the Noble Prize in Literature tells the story of Gugu, a revered midwife, who, to prove her allegiance to the Communist party, strictly enforces the one-child policy, performing abortions on women as many as eight months pregnant.

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Danish)
The first installment in a top award-winning Danish series introduces chief detective Carl Morck, who after recovering from what he thought was a career-destroying gunshot wound is relegated to cold cases and becomes immersed in the five-year disappearance of a politician.

The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani (French)
After a French couple finds a too-good-to-be-true nanny to care for their two children, the relationship between the couple and the nanny soon becomes full of jealousy, resentment, and suspicion.

The Trap by Melanie Raabe (German)
A reclusive best-selling author, haunted by the unsolved murder of her younger sister, spots her sister’s killer on television and resolves to use the plot of her next novel to set an irresistible trap for him.

The Scapegoat by Sophia Nikolaidou (Greek)
Based on the real story of famed CBS reporter George Polk, The Scapegoat is a sweeping saga that brings together the Greece of the post-World War II era with the Greece of today, a country facing dangerous times once again. 

To The End of the Land by David Grossman (Hebrew)
Fleeing to Galilee in despair when her son voluntarily rejoins the Israeli army, Ora drags along estranged family friend Avram, a tortured former POW to whom she relates her experiences of motherhood against a backdrop of constant war and fear.

Woman at 1,000 Degrees by Hallgrímur Helgason (Icelandic)
An octogenarian living out her final days in a garage with a laptop and a hand grenade reflects on her life as the daughter of a prominent political family in idyllic western Iceland.

Beneath the Mountain by Luca D’Andrea (Italian)
While staying in a small town in the Trentino-Alto Adige region in Italy, American documentary filmmaker Jeremiah Salinger becomes obsessed with the unsolved 1985 murders of a brother and sister and the young woman’s boyfriend.

The Emissary by Yōko Tawada (Japanese)
In a post-disaster Japan cut off from the rest of the world, in which children are so weak as to barely be able to walk and only the elderly have any energy, young Mumei and his great-grandfather, Yoshiro, carry on their day-to-day routine.

The Starlet and the Spy by Ji-Min Lee (Korean)
A dazzling work of historical fiction, based on true events, about two women who seem the most unlikely to ever meet: Alice, a Korean war survivor and translator for the American forces in Seoul and Marilyn Monroe, who is visiting Korea on a four-day USO tour.

Unquiet by Linn Ullmann (Norwegian)
A genre-bending novel about time, memory, and the author’s extraordinary childhood as the daughter of a genius filmmaker and his muse.

The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons by Goli Taraghi (Persian)
A collection of stories from the Iranian author includes a tale about a woman whose former maid becomes her jailer and a story about an old woman searching for her fugitive sons in Sweden.

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (Polish)
Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin (Russian)
When a young student from a wealthy family commits suicide in the Alexander Gardens, Erast Fandorin of the Moscow Police investigates the supposedly open-and-shut case and discovers that the student’s suicide is not an isolated case.

Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin (Spanish)
A first English translation by an award-winning Spanish author follows the nightmarish experiences of a dying woman and a boy beside her hospital bed, who explore the dynamics of broken souls, toxic relationships and the power and desperation of family.

The Invoice by Jonas  Karlsson (Swedish)
An unassuming Swedish video store clerk receives an invoice in the amount of 5.7 kronor to pay for every one of his life experiences.

The Story of a Goat by Perumal Murugan (Tamil)
Offered a weakling goat by a mysterious stranger, a rural Indian farmer and his wife assume difficult hardships to protect the vulnerable animal, who makes bawdy observations of the human world and its sometimes dangerous government. 

River of Fire by Qurratulain Hyder (Urdu)
Four characters of Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian faith, reappear throughout the novel in various reincarnations but interestingly enough, with the same names. These characters become crisscrossed and strangely inseparable over different eras, forming and reforming their relationships in romance and war, in possession and dispossession.

Discover even more by searching JMRL’s catalog. One way to find translated novels and poems is to look for the subject heading Translations into English (see image)  On the right hand side of the results page you can sort by author, original language, format, or audience (adults, teens, and children). To search for a translator, enter their same into the search bar and choose “author” from the dropdown menu next to it.

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About JMRL Central Reference

Librarians in the reference department at the Central Library of JMRL.

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