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Quiz: What Queer Book in Translation Should You Read?

Expand your queer reading horizons and try a book in translation! Not sure where to start? Take this quiz! I’ve gathered eight LGBTQ books in translation from around the world in various genres and forms. Manga? Check! Science fiction? Check! Family saga? Check! Magical realism? Check! And more! For other ideas for queer books in translation, check out this list of Must-Read Queer Books from Around the World on Book Riot and this list of Queer Nordic and Scandinavian Books by yours truly at Autostraddle.

Choose a country:(Required)
Which group of themes appeals to you?(Required)
Which meal would you like to eat?(Required)
Choose an English language queer book:(Required)
Which method of travel appeals?(Required)
Which quote speaks to you?(Required)
Choose a color:(Required)
Choose a queer movie:(Required)
What type of reader are you?(Required)
Pick a place to read your book:(Required)
What type of thing can you see yourself googling?(Required)
Which Autostraddle article speaks to you?(Required)
Which drink are you sipping while reading your book?(Required)
Which dessert looks good?(Required)
Choose a genre / form:(Required)

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Known in some internet circles as Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, Casey Stepaniuk is a writer, librarian, and new parent. She writes for Book Riot and Autostraddle about queer and/or bookish stuff. Ask her about cats, bisexuality, libraries, queer books, drinking tea, and her baby. Her website is Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian. Find her on Twitter, Litsy, Storygraph Goodreads and Instagram.

Casey has written 126 articles for us.


  1. Oooh this sounds very intriguing!

    “Concerning My Daughter by Kim Hye-Jin, Translated by Jamie Chang

    This contemporary novel was originally published in 2017 in Korean by South Korean author Kim Hye-Jin and translated into English in 2022. Although it portrays a lesbian character in her 30s, the story is told from the perspective of her 70ish mother, foregrounding their complicated mother-daughter relationship. When the daughter Green moves back in with her mom with her girlfriend Lane in tow, her mother finds it impossible to accept or support her daughter’s identity, partner, conception of family, or her involvement in a case supporting her fellow queer university colleagues who have been unfairly dismissed. Green’s mother fulfilled the tradition of dedicating her life to her husband and child and continues to believe it’s the only path for women. This is despite this life not delivering what it promised her: her husband has passed away, leaving her with a crumbling home and having to continue working into her old age. A patient at the care facility where she works who also lived an untraditional life might be the turning point for Green’s mother to change her thinking.”

  2. Adding to my list– thank you!

    “Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, Translated by Tina Kover

    This award-winning novel by Iranian author Négar Djavadi was originally written in French in 2016 and translated into English in 2018. The protagonist Kimiâ Sadr left her home country of Iran when she was ten, with her parents who opposed the fundamentalist regime. Now living in France at the age of 25, she sits in the waiting room of a fertility clinic, a friend having donated sperm and helped her trick the system to allow her to become a single queer parent. As she waits, her mind wanders to her family history. Layers of narrative take off, telling the stories of Kimiâ’s many ancestors, from her great-grandfather to her parents Darius and Sara. The history especially focuses on Kimiâ’s dad: his activism and opposition to the Shah and then the Ayatollah Khomeini. Kimiâ’s story — of her sexual, national, political, and familial identities – remains at the heart, though. The writing is especially vivid and visual, with Djavadi’s skills as a screenwriter on full display.”

    • I have already read my suggested book -Disoriental- and can indeed confirm: it’s good! and admit that in my head i must have merged it’s content with Emilia Roig’s life, what had me somewhat confused at a reading – but this quiz threw light on the matter) Thank you Casey for your vast well of books!

  3. I’m always looking for things to read in Spanish. This one sounds fun and unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

    “ Argentinian author Camila Sosa Villada’s magical realist coming of age novel was originally published in Spanish in 2019, and translated into English in 2022. It follows the story of Camila, a smart young trans woman who leaves her small town to attend university in Córdoba in the early 2000s. Beginning to do sex work to make ends meet, she becomes part of a community of trans sex workers whose matriarch is 178-year-old Auntie Encarna. Their found family is comprised of many outcasts, including an abandoned baby found in the park, a mute woman who transforms into a bird, a war refugee who has no head, and more. Camila, of course, fits right in. The novel tells the stories of this community’s lives, the ordinary and the extraordinary: new romantic entanglements, passionate friendships, fighting the terrorism of cops, career ambitions, communal parenting, trauma at the hand of partners or clients, and more. Her writing had a dreamy quality that contrasts beautifully with the gritty, sometimes violent reality of Camila and her community.”

  4. This is right up my alley! Thank you! –

    We All Loved Cowboys is by Brazilian author Carol Bensimon, originally written in Portuguese and translated into English in 2018. A coming of age novel, the book follows Cora and Julia, old friends and lovers who had a falling out in their early 20s. Reuniting to finally do their long ago planned road trip across their home state in Brazil, their complicated history and the reasons for their friendship / relationship break up reemerge. Throughout their travels and adventures in different towns, they talk about their past and discuss what exactly it is that they want from this trip, and from each other. Their time is limited, not just by the length of the drive, but because each woman is going back to her separate life elsewhere in the world when they’re done. Julia is headed back to Canada, while Cora is returning to Paris. Themes like rebellion, nostalgia, risk, and the difficulty of mapping out your life’s path are all filtered through a queer, new adult lens. The story is told critically but empathetically through Cora’s limited and privileged viewpoint.

  5. Tentacle by Rita Indiana:

    “This innovative dystopian science fiction novel written by Dominicana author Rita Indiana was originally published in Spanish and translated into English three years after it initially came out in 2015. Set in the Dominican Republic in the past, present, and future, Tentacle tackles themes of climate change, queer sexuality, trans identity, technology, poverty, colonialism, class politics, government corruption, and Yoruba ritual. In a future post-apocalyptic Santo Domingo, a trans maid / chosen one discovers his place in the Santería prophecy: only he can go back in time to save the ocean and humanity. To do so, he must become the man he’s always been destined to be. How? With the help of a sacred anemone. Who will he fight? A bisexual villain / anti-hero steeped in misogyny. Funny yet bleak, this novel is a short, fast-paced read with a distinctly punk aesthetic. Known as “La Monstra” (the monster) in the Dominican Republic as a musician, Indiana writes with a similar fierce energy.”

  6. Welp, I got “My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness” lol, definitely going to have to check that one out! Also super curious which one is set in Iceland, if anyone has gotten that result?

  7. This looks intriguing although possibly too dark for me. But I so want to go to Iceland, I’m sure that’s why I got it.

    Snare (2015) is the first book in Icelandic author Lilja Sigurdardóttir’s thriller / crime Reykjavik Noir series, translated from Icelandic to English in 2018. The main character Sonia is a young single mother having difficulty earning enough money to provide for herself and her son, as well as fight for sole custody from her homophobic ex-husband. Running out of options, she gets involved in cocaine smuggling and consequently with a harsh underground criminal world. At first her only nemesis is a customs agent whose decades of experience challenges Sonia’s efforts as a drug mule. But when she gets in too deep and wants out, she discovers just how hard it will be to extricate herself. At the same time, she’s met and started dating Agla, a former bank executive who’s now being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash. This is a page-turner with complex characters; a dark tone; an eerie, dusty post-volcanic eruption setting; and steamy queer sex scenes.

  8. I think i want to read all of them! I got Disoriental by Negar Djavadi and it sounds amazing! Thanks, Casey, for all your work on this and your bright cheery tone in your articles! I relate to you as a queer Mom and love hearing from you.

  9. This quiz was hard cause I wanted almost everything! I was surprised to get a book that I’ve read and that is like, actually really important to me. I used to go to this comic book shop by my therapy place on days when it was Very Hard to go home, and this is one of the books I picked up and put underneath all the other books, hoping the cashier (a white seemingly cis man) would just scan it and leave it be. They very casually said, these are all great picks especially this one (the one I was hiding) and just put them in the bag and gave me a smile which I still hold close to this day. Maybe it’s time for a re-read. Thank you for this quiz I’m gonna probably take it ten more times :D

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