Novels in Translation

The landscape of world literature has been well-represented on bestseller and best-of lists for years now, including popular authors like Fredrik Backman, Elena Ferrante, and Isabel Allende. Some of the most exciting novels being released today have been translated from the author’s native language. 

Reading fiction from non-English authors provides deep insights into other cultures and lived experiences. These books show the power of art to inform and mold our cultural understanding. 

The following list includes authors representing countries all over the world: Israel, Peru, Namibia, Chile, South Korea, and Japan. Some of these are debut authors and some have an established career but may be new to American audiences. 

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The Eternal Audience of One

Spanning colonial and post-independence Rwanda, as well as Paris and Brussels, in the 1970s, this humorous novel follows a student finishing his law degree in Namibia before moving onto cosmopolitan Cape Town. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

Harsh Times

Taking place during the Cold War-era, this novel looks at the military coup that took place in Guatemala in 1954, which was backed by the CIA, and its after-effects that are still being felt today. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.


From one of the most lauded Japanese novelists working today, this novel follows a 14-year-old mercilessly bullied for his lazy eye as he bonds with a fellow classmate who understands his plight. Kawakami looks at the very nature and ramifications of violence that the weak can be subjected to in this literary tour de force. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.

Las Biuty Queens

These short stories are inspired by the author’s own life as a transgender immigrant sex worker in New York City. While Ojeda’s characters are dealing with issues of addiction and abuse, they are also defiant and their stories are, at their core, hopeful.  You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.

More Than I Love My Life

Three generations of women visit an island off the coast of Croatia where the grandmother had been imprisoned for refusing to denounce her husband. The complicated relationships of these two mother-daughter pairs are explored in the latest novel from one of Israel’s most preeminent novelists. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.