Outsiders

August is the month of Women in Translation. So, while shopping around for more books to include in my reading project, I came across this blog post on the disparity between male/female writers and, worse, translated male/female writers. Shocking! I thought, surely I’m doing better than this and started counting …  shocking again. 19 out of 59 books I’ve read so far were written by women (plus two collections where female writers had contributed). There’s definitely much room for improvement on my part.

On a brighter note, many thanks to Flora Alexander for introducing me to Jean Rhys.

57 Croatia: Zoran Ferić – The Death of the Little Match Girl

I think, this novel has been the first book ever that I’ve read that had a transgender character. So I thought it would be a fascinating new world to explore. Sadly, the underlying stereotyping, and on top of that homophobia, made this book much less fun to read than the cover and blurb promised.

58 Dominica: Jean Rhys – Wild Sargasso Sea

This rather exceptional take on Jane Eyre added a much-needed voice to the choir of characters. I always thought of the Caribbean as a paradise on earth, but I’m beginning to realise how wrong I was.

59 South Korea: Han Kang – The Vegetarian

This novel is probably one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. It started off quite funny, but then suddenly took a very dark turn. I found it one of these books in which no word is superfluous. It is a disturbing work, however, in my eyes absolutely worth the praise it has got.

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