About 25 years ago, I read a novel called Far Afield by Susanna Kaysen. Set in the Faroe Islands, an isolated archipelago in the North Atlantic, the book is a fairy tale about a Harvard grad student who arrives to do his anthropology fieldwork carrying nothing but the clothes on his back, his suitcase having been lost en route. I had never heard of the Faroes and even consulted an atlas to make sure they exist, but after reading Kaysen’s book I developed a yearning to visit. I haven’t made it—yet—but that reading experience has stuck with me for decades. Fiction is one of the best ways to travel the world, and these days it’s easier to find books that aren’t travelogues written by Americans but are international novels published in the U.S.

If you’re interested in Iceland, you can choose from two recent novels: Quake by Auður Jónsdótti, translated by Meg Matich (Dottir Press, Feb. 8), tells the first-person story of a woman who develops amnesia following two epileptic seizures, while Karitas Untitled by Krístin Marja Baldursdóttir, translated by Philip Roughton (Amazon Crossing, March 1), set in the early 20th century, follows a woman from a poor family who struggles to get an education and become an artist.

“I’ve never felt a sense of security in Ukraine,” says the narrator of one of the stories in Lucky Breaks, Yevgenia Belorusets’ debut collection translated by Eugene Ostashevsky (New Directions, March 1). Our review says “a sense of unease pervades every corner of this book, which spotlights women affected directly and indirectly by the violence in Eastern Ukraine.” From nearby Poland comes Nobel Prize–winning Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob, translated by Jennifer Croft (Riverhead, Feb. 1), which our review said “tackles the mysteries of heresy and faith, organized religion and splinter sects, 18th-century Polish and Lithuanian history, and some of the finer points of cabalist and Hasidic theology.”

From Nigeria comes Eloghosa Osunde’s debut, Vagabonds! (Riverhead, March 15), a series of interconnected stories about the “vagabonds” of Lagos, the people who refuse to conform. Our review says, “Osunde revels in the joys of storytelling to render a city and its outsiders in all their flaws and glory.”

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s Trinidad-set debut novel, When We Were Birds (Doubleday, March 1), “unspools at the stormy crossroads that separates the living and the dead,” according to our review. “Blending sobering urban realities with Caribbean-infused magical realism, Banwo has created a unique world expansive enough to contain a ghost story, a love story, a mysterious mythology, and a thoughtful examination of how family bonds keep us firmly rooted to our pasts.”

From the Middle East, two books that are subversive in different ways: Love, by Israeli Maayan Eitan (Penguin Press, Feb. 15), is an “intensely vivid, lyrical, and raw” first-person tale told by a sex worker; while Seasons of Purgatory, by Iranian Shahriar Mandanipour and translated by Sara Khalili (Bellevue Literary Press, Jan. 25), is a collection of short stories “with a bent for the quietly macabre and the burdens of those crushed by totalitarian rule,” according to our review.

Run and Hide by Pankaj Mishra (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, March 1) follows three men from the so-called New India as they try to reinvent themselves; our review calls it “an intense, probing novel examin[ing] rampant materialism and spiritual bankruptcy.” Lídia Jorge’s epic The Wind Whistling in the Cranes, translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Annie McDermott (Liveright, Feb. 8), is both a family saga and a portrait of 20th-century Portugal. Chilean Poet by Alejandro Zambra, translated by Megan McDowell (Viking, Feb. 15), is “a playful, discursive novel about families, relationships, poetry, and how easily all three can come together or fall apart.”

Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.