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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

April 23, 2024

T is for Translated Fiction #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter T

For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the genre/category and an example or two. I would love to know your thoughts on the genre/category and if you have any reading suggestions. Be sure to check out all of my A to Z posts.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site.

When I did this challenge in 2017 for X I discussed international writers (Don't be Xenophobic - A Guide International Authors). I hadn't read much translated fiction at that point. The international authors I read mostly wrote in English. It wasn't until 2020 that I seriously started reading translated fiction. 

I found I enjoy translated fiction. Even though I'm sure some things are lost in the translation, they give you a different perspective on a place or event. I've read plenty of books, written by Americans or Brits, set in France, Poland, Germany, etc. but until I read books written by French, German, Polish, etc authors I didn't realize the different take they would have on the place/event. 

I have fallen in love with Japanese literature after reading Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

I don't usually read satire but when I saw a book by an Argentinean author set in the U.S I had to read it. (The book is American Delirium by Betina González, if you want to check it out)

You can find translated in every genre and often you wouldn't know it was translated unless you read the front/back matter or noted that there is another name (the translator) attached to the book besides the author.

I've read a French police procedural, Japanese fantasy, Russian short stories, Chinese science fiction, German cozy mystery, Croatian murder mystery, and since I love WWII fiction I've read a few that have been translated from German, Polish, and Czech. 

If you haven't tried translated fiction, I encourage you to. It isn't always easy to find it - I don't think there is a section at my library but a librarian might be able to help you. There are also several lists of best-translated fiction that came up with a quick Google search.

Here's one of my favorite translated works. It's a WWII story by a Czech author.

Gerta by Kateřina Tučková, translated by Véronique Firkusny

book  cover of historical fiction translated novel Gerta by Kateřina Tučková

1945. Allied forces liberate Nazi-occupied Brno, Moravia. For Gerta Schnirch, daughter of a Czech mother and a German father aligned with Hitler, it’s not deliverance; it’s a sentence. She has been branded an enemy of the state. Caught in the changing tides of a war that shattered her family—and her innocence—Gerta must obey the official she, along with all ethnic Germans, is to be expelled from Czechoslovakia. With nothing but the clothes on her back and an infant daughter, she’s herded among thousands, driven from the only home she’s ever known. But the injustice only makes Gerta stronger, more empowered, and more resolved to seek justice. Her journey is a relentless quest for a seemingly impossible forgiveness. And one day, she will return.

Spanning decades and generations, Kateřina Tučková’s breathtaking novel illuminates a long-neglected episode in Czech history. One of exclusion and prejudice, of collective shame versus personal guilt, all through the eyes of a charismatic woman whose courage will affect all the lives she’s touched. Especially that of the daughter she loved, fought for, shielded, and would come to inspire.

Buy Gerta at Amazon

Read my review.

Have you read translated fiction? If so, what do you like about it? If you want to check other translated fiction, Amazon is offering you a choice of 1 free ebook from a list of 8 in celebration of World Book Day (the offer is good through April 30).

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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  1. This one sounds interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. I just left comments for you on three of the books you offered reviews on, including Gerta. But I don't see my comments after any of the three places. Maybe they have to be reviewed first. But I did order one book through your review and got samples on the other two, which will probably end up purchases. :-) My TBR list is growing and growing, but we had some traveling coming up and I don't sleep well and hotels. Good time to read. A lot. :-D

    1. For my older posts I have comment moderation because I get a bunch of spam comments on them - I don't want them getting link credit from me!

  3. The only translated author i read, that i know of anyway, is horror writer John Ajvide Lindqvist. I like reading about a different setting and see how people are the same and different...But honestly, i wouldn't know the first thing about seeking it out.

    1. To celebrate World Book Day, Amazon is offering 1 free ebook from this list of books from around the world.

  4. Sounds like a good book. I enjoy reading translated fiction: a lot of books in the local library when I grew up were translated from English to Afrikaans, so it's not new to me. I found an interesting mystery series waiting for me on my TBR originally written in Italian (now in English) set in a remote village in Italy.

    Ronel visiting for T: My Languishing TBR: T
    Terrifying Tokoloshe