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Any time of year is good to read a book but it's important to be aware of special events that are happening in the literary world.

Take for instance this month, which is Women in Translation Month, an initiative created by literature charity The Reading Agency.

The aim of the month is to celebrate and spread the word about female writers from around the world.

According to the charity, books written by foreign female authors don't receive as much translations as books written by men .

Of all the literary translations in the UK and America, less than a third are by women.

Now that there is a whole month we thought it would be best to shine a light on some of the most important female writers ever.

Rather than simply giving our opinion on who we think are the best here is a list of all the foreign female novel writers who have won the prestigious Nobel Prize and some of there most noteworthy books.

Jerusalem by Selma Lagerlof


Swedish writer Selma Lagerlof was the first woman to ever received the literature prize, way back in 1909.

Her most notable book, Jerusalem was an epic two part tale published between 1901 and 1902.

It spans several generations of Swedish emigrants in the 19 century who moved to Jerusalem, as well as families in Dalarna, Sweden.

The novel, which is based on true events has since been adapted into films and stage productions.

Reeds in the Wind by Grazia Deledda

Deledda was the writer of many famous Italian books that were adapted in to films, TV shows and plays.

Reeds in the Wind, or Canne al vento in Italian, is set in the harsh landscape of Sardinia and focuses on the themes of poverty, society and industry.

First published in 1913, it remains the most widely regarded of the authors work.

Deledda received her Nobel Prize in 1926 but passed away just 10 years later, aged 64.

Kristin Lavransdatterby Sigrid Undset

Sigrid Undset was a Norwegian writer, who was originally born in Denmark.

She often wrote realistic and contemporary novels about adultery and undoubtedly her most famous work was Kristin Lavaransdatter.

The book is a series of three novels focusing on the titular character, a fictitious woman living in 14 century and the various conflicts she experiences in her life.

These books helped Undset win the 1928 Nobel Prize and was first translated into English in the same decade.

The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek

Female sexuality, abuse and the battle of genders are the main points of topic in most of Austrian writer, Elfriede Jelinek's work.

The 2004 Nobel Prize winner is an outspoken and controversial individual whose writing and political activism often inspired fierce debates.

Her 1983 novel The Piano Teacher was her first novel to be translated into English and follows an repressed piano teacher who enters a sadomasochistic relationship with her student.

In 2001 it was turned into an awarded winning film directed Michael Haneke and starring Isabelle Huppert.

The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller


Romanian - German author Herta Muller, depicts the aftermath of violence in her work, for which she was awarded the Noble Prize in 2009.

At the time they described her as "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossesed."

The Hunger Angel which was translated into English in 2012 is her most famous novel.

Inspired by the experiences of her mother and the poetry of Oskar Pastior, it follows the troubled lives of ethnic Germans living in Stalinist Romanian during and after World War II.

HT Nobel PrizeMetro

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