Culture Whisper

Best foreign books translated into English

From Elena Ferrante to Joël Dicker, the best foreign books translated into English to broaden your literary horizons

It’s a peculiarly British condition to limit reading to our native tongue. Blame it on our Island isularity or notorious ineptitude at mastering foreign languages. Europeans have always approached their reading material with a cross-pollination of cultures and you don’t need to be a poly-linguist to read the very best new books from all around the world. Here’s our guide to the most exciting new books translated into English.


Elena Ferrante

The reclusive Italian writer, who uses a pen name and refuses to reveal her own identity, sparked what can only be described as Ferrante Fever with her irresistibly absorbing Neapolitan novels, My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child. The best-selling series had the whole world gripped, lost in the vivid descriptions of post war Italy, and deeply affected by the lucid tale of trust, tension and devotion between heroines Elena and Lila.

Now, Ferrante is our odds-on favourite to win the 2016 International Man Booker Prize for the final novel, The Story of the Lost Child. And, with the announcement of a Neapolitan novels TV adaptation, with which Ferrante herself will have creative involvement, Naples will be well and truly in the global spotlight.