The Best South Asian Novels in Translation, recommended by Jenny Bhatt

The writer and translator Jenny Bhatt selects five key works of South Asian literature, all historical novels available in English translation, that showcase the richness and diversity of the region’s lesser known languages: from a modernist classic decrying the depradations of the coal mining industry to a ‘loose, baggy monster’ of a Victorian novel exploring utopian ideals.

The Best of World Literature: The 2022 International Booker Prize Shortlist, recommended by Frank Wynne

The International Booker Prize celebrates the best fiction in translation published over the previous year. Frank Wynne, acclaimed translator and chair of the 2022 judging panel, tells Five Books about the six novels that made the shortlist, and reminds readers that world literature need not be tough, consumed only in the interests of self-improvement—but is often joyful, surprising and full of feeling.

Five of the Best Works of Belarusian Literature, recommended by Hanna Komar

Writers have been subject to persecution and repression in Belarus, and increasingly so in the aftermath of the protests that swept the nation in 2020 and 2021. Owning or distributing books deemed ‘extremist’ by the Lukashenko government can be enough to land you in jail. Here, the poet and activist Hanna Komar selects five of the best works of Belarusian literature that offer a glimpse of the culture and mindset of this post-Soviet nation, and the bravery of those who continue to fight for political freedom.

The Best Kids’ Books in Translation, recommended by Adam Freudenheim

There is no shortage of great kids’ books written in English, but reading books in translation can open up whole new worlds and surprising perspectives. Adam Freudenheim, managing director of Pushkin Press, talks us through some of his favourites among the many books he’s published for kids, translated from other languages.

The Best of Georgian Literature, recommended by Gvantsa Jobava

How does a country left in ruins by 70 years of Soviet oppression rebuild its literature? It starts from scratch and breaks all the rules. Gvantsa Jobava reveals the riches of Georgian literature, from 12th-century feminist epics to radical, experimental accounts of a post-Independence underworld

Neil Griffiths recommends the best Indie Fiction of 2017

Publishing took a hit in the 2007-8 financial crisis, but tough times may just have changed the industry for the better. As the big guys consolidate and tighten their margins, cracks grow wider and more books slip through… Which is good news for the publishers ready to catch them. The novelist Neil Griffiths, founder of a new prize for small presses, discusses 2017’s best indie books and celebrates publishers who ‘think like you, read like you, and live books like you’