15 Books By Women That Were Originally Published In Spanish
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: There aren't enough people reading books in translation. If you'd like to diversify your TBR, you're in luck, because I've picked out 15 books by women that were originally published in Spanish. Whether you've never read a book in translation, or you're a huge fan of literature written in languages other than English, the 15 titles on this list are sure to delight you.
Spanish is the official language of 20 countries and Puerto Rico, but beyond a handful of well-known authors — such as Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Ruiz Zafón — much of Spanish-language literature, and all other literature in translation, remains largely and unread by English-speaking audiences. This short list of great books aims to change that.
Among the 15 titles on the list below, you'll find both new releases and classics, as well as award-winning novels and overlooked gems. This list contains a mix of full-length novels, short stories, poetry, and more, so there's something here for every reader to enjoy.
Check out the 15 books by women, originally published in Spanish, that I've picked out for you below:
'Tentacle' by Rita Indiana, translated by Achy Obejas
Dominican author Rita Indiana's latest English-language release, Tentacle, tells the story of the Caribbean in the 2020s and 2030s, following a series of catastrophic ecological phenomena.
'Antígona González' by Sara Uribe, translated by John Pluecker
A retelling of Sophocles' Antigone, Antígona González centers on its eponymous heroine, following her fruitless search for the body of her missing brother, Tadeo, who has been killed, she believes, in an act of violence involving a drug cartel.
'Like Water for Chocolate' by Laura Esquivel, translated by Carol and Thomas Christensen
In this short novel that blends recipes with fiction, the de la Garza family must come to terms with its old and outdated traditions when its matriarch, Mama Elena, forbids her youngest daughter from marrying, and offers the hand of her eldest child to the girl's suitor instead.
'Mouthful of Birds' by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell
From Fever Dream author Samanta Schweblin comes this unsettling collection of short fiction, in which the world is seldom as it appears, and reality bends out of shape in an instant.
'The Things We Lost in the Fire' by Mariana Enríquez, translated by Megan McDowell
A collection of short stories set in an unstable Argentina, Mariana Enríquez's Things We Lost in the Fire brings together gripping tales of ordinary life under extraordinary pressure.
'The House of the Spirits' by Isabel Allende, translated by Magda Bogin
Tracing three generations in the Trueba family, Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits begins with Clara, a clairvoyant, whose granddaughter Alba is destined to leave her mark on history.
'Optic Nerve' by María Gainza, translated by Thomas Bunstead
An Argentinian narrator with a passion for art narrates this inventive novel, which guides readers through space and time to witness a series of little moments that all take place in gallery spaces.
'Umami' by Laia Jufresa, translated by Sophie Hughes
Years after losing her younger sister to an unexplained death, 12-year-old Ana reads Agatha Christie novels and gardens to move past her trauma. But Ana's garden is about to unearth lots of secrets in her Mexico City neighborhood, including the truth about her sister's untimely death.
'La Bastarda' by Trifonia Melibea Obono, translated by Lawrence Schimel
According to publisher's copy, Trifonia Melibea Obono's La Bastarda is "[t]he first novel by an Equatorial Guinean woman to be translated into English." The novel centers on Okomo, a motherless teen who wants to find her father, and who elicits aid from her fellow pariahs in order to do so.
'Lip Wolf' by Laura Solórzano, translated by Jen Hofer
The first collection from Mexican poet Laura Solórzano to be translated into English, Lip Wolf destabilizes readers with lyrical exercises that are somehow both meaty and dreamlike.
'Ten Women' by Marcela Serrano, translated by Beth Fowler
Nominated for the International DUBLIN Literary Award, Chilean author Marcela Serrano's Ten Women weaves its way in and out of the lives of nine psychiatric patients who have little in common, save for their connection to the same therapist.
'The Iliac Crest' by Cristina Rivera Garza, translated by Sarah Booker
In this gothic novel from Mexican author Cristina Rivera Garza, the narrator finds himself intruded upon and interrogated by two women, who claim that he is harboring a deep secret about his gender.
'Delirium' by Laura Restrepo, translated by Natasha Wimmer
Set in Colombia, Laura Restrepo's Delirium centers on Agustina, an upper-class woman living with mental illness, and the three men who play central roles in her life — her husband, her father, and her former lover.
'People in the Room' by Norah Lange, translated by Charlotte Whittle
Previously known for being Jorge Luis Borges' muse, Norah Lange is now recognized as a great Argentinian writer. Her first work translated into English, People in the Room, follows one, Buenos Aires voyeur as she makes up new lives and domestic situations for the three women who share the house across the street from hers.
'It Would Be Night in Caracas' by Karina Sainz Borgo, translated by Elizabeth Bryer (Oct. 17)
Set in modern-day Venezuela, It Would Be Night in Caracas follows Adelaida Falcon, a woman grieving for her recently deceased mother, as she returns to the apartment they once shared. Soon, however, her home is invaded by looters, who leave Adelaida with few options for survival.