August is Women in Translation month, so I wanted to share four great books by women that have been translated into English and have spooky elements. While making this list I realized that I need to branch out into fiction from other countries and regions. There are also some great books mentioned on our Horror in Translation episode for you to check out! Some of What are your favorite translated novels by women?
Now You’re One of Us by Asa Nonami (translated by Mitsuko Volek and Michael Volek)
This Japanese story was mentioned on the Gothic Episode and the Episode on Families We Would Not Want to Quarantine With. A new bride moves into a big house with to live with three generations of her in-laws after a rushed wedding. She feels uneasy and starts so suspect her new family. Every family has its own quirks, but there’s just something…off about her situation. Perfect for fans of Rosemary’s Baby and Rebecca, this book will make you happy these aren’t your in-laws.
Confessions by Kanae Minato (translated by Stephen Snyder)
This thriller from Japan does not hold back. I love Kanae Minato and could’ve also picked her book, Penance, but went with revenge story. It opens strongly when a teacher opens her class by passing out some milk and calmly explaining that she will be retiring after the accidental drowning of her toddler-aged daughter, except she says, I know it wasn’t an accident. From there, we get a multiple POV ride of a story with what led to the death of the child, and a dynamic story of payback and consequences.
Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez (translated by Megan McDowell)
This collection of short stories has drawn some Shirley Jackson comparisons with good reason. Each one is full of atmosphere and social commentary on Argentina. My favorites include: Adela’s House, Things We Lost in the Fire and The Intoxicated Years.
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (translated by Megan McDowell)
This trip of a story takes place at a dying woman’s bedside as she beckons a boy to tell him a story that reads, you guessed it, like a fever dream. This story is all over the place with nightmarish imagery, there is a thread of a story that warns of environmental issues, but the real fun comes from the strangeness of the whole story. This is a small story that can be finished in one sitting and really feel like a dream.