Best Books in Translation You’ve Never Read

by Rachel Baker on October 9, 2014

Here are 20 books to add to your bookstack if you are contemplating a trek through world literature. Enjoy!

The 20 Best Books in Translation You’ve Never Read .

As the director of Open Letter Books and Three Percent—and former Associate Director of Dalkey Archive Press—I’ve spent most of my adult life reading literature in translation. Why? In part because I find it fascinating to learn about other parts of the world, but mostly because there are so many incredibly good works in translation available to English readers.

On the surface, this seems to run counter to the commonly cited statistic that only 3% (or less) of the books published in the United States are originally written in another language. Quantity doesn’t necessarily relate to quality though. Even though there are just over 400 original translations of fiction and poetry being published in the States every year, the vast majority of these are top notch books—titles that are critically acclaimed in their own country, and often are written with a style and structure that can expand your ideas of what’s possible in fiction.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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