Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years


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This volume celebrates WWB’s tenth anniversary with fiction, poetry, and essays from our first decade, translated from Dari, Rajasthani, Tigrinya, Urdu, and Yoruba, among others. The collection embraces many moods: antic tales of love triangles, deceptively sweet old ladies turned homicidal, somber accounts of bloody wars and political conflicts, and sly subversion of pompous clergy and other authorities. There are tales of fantasy from Poland, Canada, and France, and grittier pieces from the many contributors—Iraq’s Najem Wali, Iran’s Kader Abdollah, El Salvador’s Horacio Castellanos Moya, Morocco’s Abdellah Taïa—who have had to flee their birthplaces and write from exile. The selection of poetry varies from rhapsodic to whimsical: Slovenian lyricism; Polish and Catalan self-portraiture; Argentine and Japanese revelations. And we include two fine essays that provide a road map for full appreciation of both international writing and the translator’s role. Contributors include Kader Abdolah, Adolfo Albertazzi, Justyna Bargielska, Lúcia Bettencourt, Carmen Boullosa, Horacio Castillo,  Ismat Chughtai, Vijay Dan Detha, André Pieyre de Mandiargues, Louis de Paor, Nicholas Dickner, Ernest Farrés, Gabriella Ghermandi, Marek Huberath, Akinwumi Isola, Etik Juwita, Ilya Kaminsky, Rivka Keren, Nomura Kiwao, Fatos Lubonja, Leila Marouane, Mohammad Hussain Mohammadi, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Ambar Past, Tomaž Šalamun, Teresa Solana, Andrés Felipe Solano, Abdellah Taïa, Goli Taraghi, Jyrki Vainonen, Lawrence Venuti, Najem Wali, Ghirmai Yohannes, Yu Hua, Motoya Yukiko, and Zheng Xiaolu.

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Spain’s Great Untranslated


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Spain's Great Untranslated presents twelve contemporary Spanish masters whose dazzling work has been unavailable to the English-language world. Exploring scenes ranging from the devastating Madrid subway bombing to the idyllic coastline of Greece, in rhapsodic poetry and anguished prose, these writers demonstrate the breadth and depth of the country's literary scene. Edited by Javier Aparicio, Aurelio Major, and Mercedes Monmany, these new English translations of great Spanish poetry, fiction, and memoirs provide an unrivaled view of Spanish writing today.

Tablet & Pen

Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East


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A volume that celebrates the magnificent achievement of twentieth-century Middle Eastern literature that has been neglected in the English-speaking world.

A landmark literary event, this groundbreaking work spans a century of literature by the region's best writers—from the famed Arab poet Khalil Gibran to the Turkish Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk—all of them bound together not by borders and nationalities but by a common experience of colonial domination and Western imperialism. As best-selling author Reza Aslan writes, the mesmerizing prose of the Middle East—Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu—has been virtually excluded from the canon available to English readers. Under the umbrella of Words Without Borders, Aslan has assembled this extraordinary collection of short stories, memoirs, essays, and poems, featuring both contemporary and historical works, with many of the selections newly appearing in English. Featuring literature from countries as diverse as Morocco and Iran, Turkey and Pakistan, Tablet & Pen is a long-awaited work that is to be devoured as a single sustained narrative from the first page to the last.

The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry


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In The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, poetic visions from the twentieth century are reinforced and in many ways revised. Alongside renowned masters such as Neruda, Amichai, Brodsky, and Apollinaire, there are many new discoveries—internationally celebrated poets who have rarely, if ever, been translated into English. Edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris of Words without Borders, The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry serves as a canonical touchstone in the field of poetics, bringing voices from afar to readers and students.


“From canonical modernists like Valéry, Vallejo and Pasternak to younger poets of today, the Ecco Anthology collects an amazing spectrum of poetic voices from around the world in gifted translations, often by other well-known poets. It becomes immediately indispensable.”
— John Ashbery

“This brilliantly assembled gathering of world voices reads as a symphony of utterance beginning to end, an international conversation of the highest order, regarding the questions and concerns of humankind, beyond borders and all other such barriers, real or imagined. Abundant thanks especially to the editors and translators of this magnificent work.”
— Carolyn Forché

“This astonishing anthology deeply substantiates Rubén Darío’s claim that 'a poet moves in the world.' It is a modern book of wonders, of airy correspondences and earthly dialogues, of faraway voices and unlikely global encounters, of borders magically crossed and deaths transfigured, of candles lighting each other, like souls. It is inexhaustible.”
— Edward Hirsch

The Wall in My Head

Words and Images from the Fall of the Iron Curtain


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Open Letter Books, November 2009

On the night of November 9, 1989, after months of unrest in Europe and East Germany, the checkpoints between East and West Berlin were suddenly, almost accidentally, opened, reuniting the two sides of the divided city, and bringing together a divided Europe and two worlds that had been apart for nearly thirty years. Before long a spate of revolutions had spread across Europe and by December, it appeared that the Cold War was over.

The Wall in My Head is an exciting anthology that features fiction, essays, images, and original documents to pick up where most popular accounts of the Cold War end, and trace the path of the revolutionary spirit of 1989 from its origins to the present day.

The Wall in My Head combines work from the generation of writers and artists who witnessed the fall of the Iron Curtain firsthand with the impressions and reflections of those who grew up in its wake and whose work, childhoods and memories are all colored by the long shadow that it cast.

Highlights within include seminal excerpts from the work of Milan Kundera, Peter Schneider, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Vladimir Sorokin, and Victor Pelevin and new work from Peter Esterhazy, Andrzej Stasiuk, Muharem Bazdulj, Maxim Trudolubov, Dorota Maslowska, Uwe Tellkamp, Dan Sociu, David Zabransky, Christhard Laepple and a host of others.

Words Without Borders

The World through the Eyes of Writers


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Anchor Books, March 2007

Featuring the work of more than 28 writers from upwards of 20 countries, Words Without Borders: The World through the Eyes of Writers transports us to the frontiers of the new literature for the twenty-first century.

In these pages, some of the most accomplished writers in world literature–including Edwidge Danticat, Ha Jin, Cynthia Ozick, Javier Marias, and Nobel laureates Wole Soyinka, Günter Grass, Czeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska, and Naguib Mahfouz–have stepped forward to introduce us to dazzling literary talents virtually unknown to readers of English. Writers chosen for this anthology include Juan Forn, Ma Jian, Johan Harstad, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Gamal al-Ghitani, and Jo Kyung Ran. Most of their work–short stories, poems, essays, and excerpts from novels–appears here in English for the first time.

“One of the best introductions to non-Western writers there is." —Kirkus Reviews

“Words without Borders does Lonely Planet one better: It mainlines the experience of elsewhere—the wanderlust, the delirium of dislocation.”—The Village Voice

Literature from the “Axis of Evil”

Writing from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Other Enemy Nations


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The New Press, September 2006

In Literature From the “Axis of Evil:” Writing from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Other Enemy Nations, our groundbreaking first anthology, Words without Borders offers American readers a passport into the heart of enemy nations and uncovers a dazzling cross-section of humanity, different from, yet ultimately recognizable to ourselves.

Literature from the “Axis of Evil” includes twenty-one works of fiction and poetry from seven countries, most translated into English for the first time. The authors in this anthology include Houshang Moradi-Kermani, Tirdad Zolghadr, Ahmad Shamlou (from Iran); Salah Al-Hamdani, Sherko Fatah, Muhsin Al-Ramli, Saadi Yousef (from Iraq); Kang Kwi-mi, Hong Seok-jung, Lim Hwa-won, Byungu Chon (from North Korea); Salim Barakat, Hanna Mina (from Syria); Kamel al-Maghur, Ashur Etwebi (from Libya); Tarek Eltayeb (from Sudan); Anna Lidía Vega Serova, Francisco García González, and Raúl Rivero (from Cuba).

“Reading Literature from the “Axis of Evil” inevitably makes you think about whether art and literature can help prevent hatred and even war.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“The book every American should read this year . . . Axis of Evil has more to say about the historical complexities, conflicts, and nuances of so-called enemy nations than a hundred shelves of polemics and political rhetoric that clutter the front rows of our bookstores.” —Bloomsbury Review