Lately I’ve been reading English books that were originally published in another language.


What first got me interested in these kinds of books was reading the news about Miri Yu’s novel winning a translation award in the U.S., the National Book Award for Translated Literature. Her novel was originally written in Japanese but has been translated into English.


I found reading a Japanese novel in English to be quite interesting. (Don’t worry, though. I did not read the original Japanese and compare the English translation. I’ve got better things to do than that!) So I thought I’d look for other books translated into English from another language.


Here are the books I’ve read/gathered so far.

Tokyo Ueno Station      Author Miri Yu, originally Japanese

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982             Author Cho Nam-Joo, originally Korean

The Unwomanly Face of War    Author Svetlana Alexievich, originally Russian

Chernobyl Prayer                        Author Svetlana Alexievich, originally Russian

The Three-Body Problem           Author Liu Cixin, originally Chinese


As you can see, the list includes various genres and original languages. To be honest, I haven’t quite gotten around to reading the last three on the list. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 was made into a film but it didn’t capture the satire of the book. Lost in book-to-film translation.


Anyway, I hope to at least read The Three-Body Problem before it goes on Netflix or made into a Hollywood film starring Tom Cruise.