National Translation Month 2023 Reading List

September is National Translation Month, when we celebrate authors and the translators whose work expands access to books for new audiences, while preserving their character and content. To close out the month, we compiled a list so you can continue reading talented authors and translators long after September ends.

Here we highlight a selection of translations from Bucknell University Press’ recent backlist, including a pathbreaking nineteenth-century Spanish feminist novel, interviews with Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin, literary fiction set in francophone Africa, an accessible new translation from the German of Goethe’s Faust, and French plays that discuss American Mormonism.

Our list ends with a collection of essays, Avenues of Translation, which explores how translation perpetuates, diversifies, and deepens literature produced in cities, and how it can in turn expand access to a city’s past and present literary and cultural practices.

We hope you’ll enjoy these selections and be inspired to seek out further translations to broaden your reading horizons.

Two Women

A Novel

Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
Translated by Barbara F. Ichiishi

“Remarkably, this pioneering novel – published five years before Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre by the most celebrated woman author in nineteenth-century Spain and Cuba – has never been translated into English before now. Written at the height of Romanticism and set in Seville and Madrid, the novel dares to propose divorce, thus flouting the conventions of a deeply conservative Catholic Spain. Ichiishi’s sensitive translation successfully conveys the pernicious effects of a repressive society on the lives of men and women.”

– Catherine Davies, coeditor of Transnational Spanish Studies


Mikhail Bakhtin

The Duvakin Interviews, 1973

Edited by Slav N. Gratchev

Translated by Margarita Marinova


“This book is an extraordinary contribution to cultural and intellectual history. Bakhtin’s conversations with Duvakin capture a succession of epochs and dramatic events; they reveal a Bakhtin who is both vulnerable and sovereign, anchored in his time and breaking free of its constraints.”

– Galin Tihanov, Queen Mary University of London


Don’t Whisper Too Much and Portrait of a Young Artiste from Bona Mbella

Frieda Ekotto

Translated by Corine Tachtiris

“Thematically provocative and narratively delicious, Frieda Ekotto’s first novel challenges constraining expectations of romantic bonding in Africa… Since the birth of modern African literature in European languages, no other literary imaginings of same-sex eroticism have dared to do what Ekotto accomplishes in her novel… It is not surprising that although these novels have only been accessed in French, Whisper has already garnered a sustained critical attention. These English translations are a welcome contribution to a deeper understanding of female (homo)sexuality in Africa and any literature and cultural courses on sexuality will benefit from them.”

– Naminata Diabate, Cornell University


A Tragedy, Part I

Johann Wolfgang con Goethe

Translated by Eugene Stelzig

“This exciting new translation of Goethe’s Faust brings the text to life for a contemporary audience. Stelzig’s ‘flexible’ approach to poetic translation is eminently successful: the complexity of the text is allowed to emerge without completely sacrificing its poetry. I highly recommend it— especially for the classroom and first-time English readers of Faust.”

– Astrida Tantillo, University of Illinois at Chicago

Mormons in Paris

Polygamy on the French Stage, 1874-1892

Translated by Corry Cropper, Christopher M. Flood

Mormons in Paris is as erudite as it is enchanting. In their introduction, Corry Cropper and Christopher Flood show exceptional depth and breadth of knowledge about French theater, opera, and light opera and their place in late nineteenth-century French culture. The language of the translations is natural and readable, and the little songs in verse are especially delightful.”

– Susan McCready, author of Staging France between the World Wars

Avenues of Translation

The City in Iberian and Latin American Writing

Edited by Regina Galasso, Evelyn Scaramella

“Avenues of Translation offers an innovative focus on the literary, theoretical, creative, and metaphorical representations of the city in the Spanish and Latin American contexts. The essays in this volume address a wide variety of geographies, cultures, and literary genres in the Hispanic world, and present a welcome addition to the growing number of studies dedicated to representations of the city.”

– David Richter, Utah State University