How To

August is Women in Translation Month: 5 Ways to Join

M. Lynx Qualey

Staff Writer

M. Lynx Qualey is the founder of, a website that brings together translators, authors, publishers, critics, academics, and readers around discussions of Arabic literature in translation. She works as a book critic, reader, editor, and ghostwriter. You can follow her at @arablit.

Women in Translation Month was launched in 2014, the brainchild of literary blogger Meytal Radzinski. WITMonth started in response to Radzinski’s observation that only around 30% of books published in translation were by women.

women in translation, WITMonthSince that first year, the month has blossomed and birthed, among other things, the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.

As in previous years, Radzinski writes, the 2018 goals remain simple: “Read, review, and discuss books by women writers in translation! Support women writers in translation! Try to find solutions for the lack of women writers in translation!”

Last year, Book Riot’s Sarah Ullery blogged about participating in #WITMonth. What else—outside of picking up a book in translation—can you do to join in?

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Five ways to participate in WITMonth

1) Follow @Read_WIT and #WITMonthThe “Women in Translation” Twitter account and hashtag offer year-round recommendations of great new books by women authors from around the world.

2) Suggest books by women in translation to your library: Words Without Borders has an excellent list of 31 women writers in translation to read now, and they go far beyond the usual European suspects.

3) Attend a #WITMonth event: If you’re in Brooklyn, there will be a #WITMonth event on August 16 at WORD. Other events around the world will be announced on @Read_WIT and #WITMonth.

4) Review works by women in translation: Fewer books by women writers are translated; they tend to come from a narrow range of countries and languages, but even those don’t receive much attention. If you’re compelled by a woman writer’s book in translation, write about why.

5) Suggest books by women in translation to your book group: And don’t settle for the old standards. For goodness sakes, there have been books written in Arabic by women since Nawal El Saadawi’s Women at Point Zero (Radwa Ashour’s The Journey, translated by Michelle Hartman; Basma Abdel Aziz’s The Queue, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette; Dunya Mikhail’s The Beekeeper, translated by Mikhail and Max Weiss)!

And always name the translator.