I’m so excited about all the wonderful forthcoming 2022 books in translation! I’ve had a grand time searching for the most interesting, most exciting, most noteworthy books coming out this year. These are all books I haven’t yet read but am excited about and adding to my TBR. The list below includes 24 books that are (mostly) from the first half of the year, since that’s the information I was able to find. Keep an eye out for information on fall 2022 books in translation later this year.
As usual for translations, most of these books come from small presses. Small, independent publishers are truly doing great work when it comes to finding and publishing exciting new books. Or, in some cases, they do the important work of putting older books back into print. If you love books in translation, make sure to do what you can to support small presses!
Below you will find books from 17 different presses, 16 of them independent ones. You will find books by authors from Denmark, Poland, China, Japan, Morocco, Ecuador, Mexico, Turkey, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Lebanon, South Korea, France, Belgium, Oman, Brazil, and Sweden. The list of mostly made up of novels, but I’ve included four works of nonfiction and two story collections as well.
Take a look at the list and see what 2022 books in translation you might want to pick up!
2022 BOOKS IN TRANSLATION
THE EMPLOYEES: A WORKPLACE NOVEL OF THE 22ND CENTURY BY OLGA RAVN, TRANSLATED BY MARTIN AITKEN (NEW DIRECTIONS, FEBRUARY 1)This novel was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2021. It’s an existential science fiction novel about work in late capitalism, set on a space ship, where humans and humanoids complain about the daily reality of the workplace.
THE BOOKS OF JACOB BY OLGA TOKARCZUK, TRANSLATED BY JENNIFER CROFT (RIVERHEAD BOOKS, FEBRUARY 1)This is a nearly 1,000-page novel by the author of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead. Set in 18th century Europe, The Books of Jacob tells the story of the rise and fall of the charismatic religious leader Jacob Frank, who is based on a controversial historical figure.
HOW I SURVIVED A CHINESE “REEDUCATION” CAMP: A UYGHUR WOMAN’S STORY BY GULBAHAR HAITIWAJI AND ROZENN MORGAT, TRANSLATED BY EDWARD GAUVIN (SEVEN STORIES PRESS, FEBRUARY 8)This book is the only memoir currently available about reeducation camps by a Uyghur woman. Gulbahar Haitiwaji spend two years in camps after visiting China in 2017. She endured interrogations, hunger, and torture, and tells her story after her escape with the help of family and the French foreign ministry.
WOMAN RUNNING IN THE MOUNTAINS BY YUKO TSUSHIMA, TRANSLATED BY GERALDINE HARCOURT (NYRB CLASSICS, FEBRUARY 8)This novel by the author of Territory of Lightwas originally published in 1980, fell out of print in English, and is now being reissued. It’s set in 1970s Japan and tells the story of a single mother. The novel explores the protagonist’s experiences of early motherhood and her quest to find her place in the world as her child grows older.
BLOOD FEAST BY MALIKA MOUSTADRAF, TRANSLATED BY ALICE GUTHRIE (FEMINIST PRESS, FEBRUARY 8)This book collects the short stories of Malika Moustadraf, a feminist icon in Morocco, who lived from 1969 to 2006. She was known for her writing on gender and sexuality. These stories explore the body, class, illness, desire, life on the margins, and more.
JAWBONE BY MÓNICA OJEDA, TRANSLATED BY SARAH BOOKER (COFFEE HOUSE PRESS, FEBRUARY 8)Jawbone, from Ecuadorean writer Mónica Ojeda, explores female relationships through the lens of the horror novel. It tells the story of Fernanda and Annelise, two very close friends, and their teacher, Miss Clara. It’s a story of adolescence, obsession, violence, love, and pop culture.
SCATTERED ALL OVER THE EARTH BY YOKO TAWADA, TRANSLATED BY MARGARET MITSUTANI (NEW DIRECTIONS, MARCH 1)This novel is dystopian futuristic climate fiction, but also cheerful in tone. It describes an ever-growing group of friends who travel around Europe exploring languages and learning about themselves and each other. It’s a novel about, among other things, the power of community.
PARADAIS BY FERNANDA MELCHOR, TRANSLATED BY SOPHIE HUGHES (NEW DIRECTIONS, MARCH 1)Set in and around a luxury housing complex, Paradais tells the story of two teenaged boys acting out on their unhappiness with their lives. Like Melchor’s earlier novel Hurricane, this one explores violence, racism, and classism in contemporary Mexico.
A STRANGE WOMAN BY LEYLÂ ERBIL, TRANSLATED BY NERMIN MENEMENCIOGLU AND AMY MARIE SPANGLER (DEEP VELLUM, MARCH 1)Leylâ Erbil lived from 1931 to 2013 and was the first Turkish woman to be nominated for a Nobel. Her novel A Strange Woman, published in 1971, is an important feminist landmark. It tells the story of Nermin, a woman who struggles to be an intellectual in a resistant society.