This month we present new Palestinian writing from around the world, selected and introduced by Nathalie Handal. The eight young authors here work in multiple languages and hail from five continents, testifying to Palestinian literature’s vast thematic, stylistic, and linguistic range. In Jerusalem, Sousan Hammad maps a city and a heart, and Najwan Darwish dreams of the sea. From his exile in Reykjavik, Mazen Maarouf speaks of confinement and freedom. Yayha Hassan and Rodrigo Hasbún portray father-son alienation, and Asmaa Alghoul considers the cost of motherhood in wartime. Eyad Barghuthy finds an undefeated young boxer knocked out by politics. And Randa Abdel-Fattah speaks of her hybridized cultural identity as a Palestinian-Australian Muslim. We thank the A. M. Qattan Foundation for its generous support. In our special feature, we present new Bulgarian writing by Agop Melkonyan, Olya Stoyanova, Georgi Tenev, and Vlado Trifonov. We thank the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for its generous support of the feature.

New Writing from Bulgaria

What Wolves Dream

“Have you been watching too much ‘Animal Planet’ or what?!”

The Barrister from Bar Doli

She often called at this underworld hangout.

Just the Two

The Old Man had been preparing for these questions twenty years now. Nothing could surprise him.

Book Reviews

Karel Schoeman’s “This Life”

The landscape to be explored is one shaped by nation and culture almost as much as it is by personal experience. This landscape, in Schoeman's novel, is one that crosses back and forth between the borders of the great semi-desert region known as the Karoo, which began to be settled and developed in the late-nineteenth century.

Max Blecher’s “Adventures in Immediate Irreality”

It would appear that to write about Blecher is, in some sense, to write about a broad swath of European modernists in a game of contextual one-upmanship.

Magda Szabó’s “The Door”

The Door continues to be eerily resonant, as Szabó’s consideration of the changing sociopolitical terrain in 1950s–1960s Hungary speaks across borders of time and place.

Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”

In her remarkable novel The Vegetarian, South Korean writer Han Kang explores the irreconcilable conflict between our two selves: one greedy, primitive; the other accountable to family and society.

Solitary Confinement on the Seventh Floor

One day / I’ll tear off my lips / and eat them / like candy.

“Your Baby”

The phantoms behind the white sheet were moving more quickly now.

A Knockout Punch

It was in New York that he learned the real ways of boxing.

Life in Mount Carmel

Their poems reach me from their temple

Father My Unborn Son

A Stone-Age hand a paperback Koran