There's a great quote by Haruki Murakami: "If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." This, of course, is two-fold, because it also means that if you want to think more broadly and gain a larger understanding of the world, you will seek out lesser known books, and from different places.
In 2016, small publishers like New Directions and Coffee House Press and lauded indie powerhouses like Melville House continue to bring many deserving international voices to the forefront. And in an election year that has many Americans wondering what in the bloody hell is going on around here, books from other parts of the globe can be a welcome treat to help counterbalance the chaos. So here are five of this year's best works of literature in translation.
Juan Vidal is a writer and critic for NPR Books. He's on Twitter: @itsjuanlove