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A Reading List for Women in Translation Month 2021

Women in Translation Month is celebrated every August. Here are quite a few reading suggestions from independent literary presses and magazines.

Women are leading the new Latin American literature boom

Appropriate for Women in Translation Month, here’s a short article about how women are leading the rising wave of Latin American literature.

In “The Green Knight,” Chivalry Was Always Dead

“The movie upends its source material, replacing the codes of the quest with the hazier journey of the self.”

Katy Waldman discusses “the beloved fourteenth-century poem,” Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the new film version starring Dev Patel: “Only the broadest outlines of this inscrutable poem can be seen in ‘The Green Knight,’ a bewitching (and even more inscrutable) new film directed by David Lowery.”

A Brief History of Summer Reading

prone woman reading

“We rarely talk about spring books or winter reading. What is it about summer that inspired a whole genre of its own?”

“Something about these dog days, more than any other time of year, invites readers to bury themselves in a book — and not just any book, but one that is lighter, more fun and more transporting than their usual fare,” writes Jennifer Harlan in the New York Times. She notes that the paper presented its first special issue featuring “books suitable for summer reading” on June 5, 1897, and has included a similar issue almost every year since then. 

The concept of summer reading as a unique experience began in the U.S. in the mid-1800s, “buoyed by an emerging middle class, innovations in book publishing and a growing population of avid readers, many of them women. And this rise of summer reading coincided with the birth of another cultural tradition: the summer vacation.”

What Does Your Inner Narrator Sound and Look Like?

Gia R. asks, “have you ever thought about what happens when you read? What do you hear and see? While reading dialogue, do you hear yourself reading it or do you hear distinct voices for each character? Do the words on the page take you on a visual journey? Do you see the action unfold in your head?”

On the basis of social media discussions, conversations with friends, and her own reading experience, Gia has put together a list of eight different types of inner narrators. 

Life, Literature, and Litigation

Caroline Leavitt reports that when her first novel was published, it brought along with it her first lawsuit. Read why she has continued to write both novels and essays despite threats from people who insist on seeing themselves in what she writes.

11 Short Story Collections that Practice Magical Feminism

“Books where the surreal and the uncanny capture the contradictions of being a woman”

To be a woman, or female-identifying, is to be a creature of contradictions. Women construct multiple personas to make themselves palatable in different contexts, temper emotion for fear of repercussions, and endure such constant scrutiny that they must become endlessly adaptable. Magical feminism—a subgenre of magical realism that’s usually employed in a feminist and postcolonial context—embodies these contradictions, producing them on the page by melding the surreal and the quotidian.

Welcome to the world of magical feminism, something I hadn’t heard of before.

© 2021 by Mary Daniels Brown

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