Category: From the Archive

From the Archive: Girls, and Women

by Susan Harris, June 7, 2013

Oksana Zabuzhko's "Girls" portrays a passionate adolescent friendship that explodes into more. In the hothouse of a Ukrainian elementary school, the charismatic Effie seduces the studious Darka; decades later, the adult Darka revisits, and interrogates, her obsession. Zabuzhko's parenthical asides… more »

Category: From the Archive

From the Archives: Exiles

by Susan Harris, May 9, 2013

This month’s North Korean defectors join the numerous WWB contributors writing in exile. Most of April's Iraqi writers, many of November's banned Chinese writers, virtually all of our July and August 2011 Arab Spring authors, and many others write from countries not their own. Some are… more »

Category: From the Archive

From the Archives: Spring Comes to the Mountains

by Susan Harris, March 27, 2013

In this endless winter, when spring seems distant as the sun, we turn to Mario Rigoni Stern's luminous "Spring," beautifully translated by Gregory Conti, from our March 2007 issue. Rigoni Stern opens with his childhood memories of winter's end in the Italian mountains—"in the month of March,… more »

Category: From the Archive

From the Archives: Graphic History

by Susan Harris, February 28, 2013

With this seventh edition of our annual graphic novel issue, we've now published close to eighty graphic works. Despite the "comics" label, many of these pieces are anything but playful, as artists and writers turn to the graphic form to document painful histories both political and personal. Some… more »

Category: From the Archive

From the Archives: Moving Around Me

by Susan Harris, January 12, 2013

To whom does the story of the Haitian earthquake belong? Whose is it to tell, and in what form? Haitian writer and longtime Montreal resident Dany Laferrière was in Port-au-Prince for a literary festival when the quake struck. His "The World Is Moving Around Me," from our November 2011 issue… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: Chinese Writing, Banned and Otherwise

by Susan Harris, November 29, 2012

Mo Yan's Nobel turned a spotlight on Chinese writers and literature, and the continuing controversy over his selection has prolonged, and intensified, that focus. Our timely current issue of banned writing represents only a fraction of the Chinese work on the site; so if you’ve worked your… more »

Category: From the Archive

From the Archives: Ghosts on the Bridge

by Susan Harris, July 31, 2012

As a transition between the two parts of our double issue of Japanese writing, you might want to revisit Michael Emmerich’s essay "Beyond Between: Translations, Ghosts, Metaphors," from our May 2009 issue. Michael details the multitude of possible Japanese renderings for the word "translation,"… more »

Category: From the Archive

Two Takes on May-December

by Susan Harris, June 8, 2012

In Cristina Peri Rossi's "Ne me quitte pas," a fortysomething psychiatrist finds a patient's romantic anguish reflects his own insecurity about his teenaged lover. As the patient describes the pain of leaving his wife, the psychiatrist broods: how can this gorgeous, indefatigable boy be content… more »

Category: From the Archive

Musical Beds, Catalan Style

by Susan Harris, April 25, 2012

If you've finished the issue and are still in the mood, check out Empar Moliner's rollicking "Invention of the Aspirin" in our October 2007 Catalan issue. A bored wife finds she has the ability to slip into other women's identities—and their bedrooms. Shapeshifting from secretary to… more »

Category: From the Archive

From the Archives: Poetry, Sex, and Rap

by Susan Harris, April 4, 2012

April is National Poetry Month, and our theme this month is sex, so we're going back to our November 2005 South Korean issue for a tale that fits both: Lee Gi-ho's "Earnie." The story of a young prostitute with a booming voice who escapes via a fortuitous encounter with a music impresario, it… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: Trading Maniacs

by Susan Harris, September 7, 2010

If you're reveling in this month's Urdu issue, do check out Saadat Hasan Manto's 1955 classic "Toba Tek Singh" from September 2003. Just after Partition, the governments of Pakistan and India decide to exchange lunatics: "Muslim lunatics in Indian madhouses would be sent to Pakistan, while… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: A Coastal Village, When Summer Gives It the Slip

by Susan Harris, August 31, 2010

As the Northern Hemisphere's summer crawls to a close, we recommend Yasmina Khadra's "Absence."  In an Algerian resort town at the end of the season, shy, dreamy teen Nasser waves good-bye to the departing Noria, the object of his mute yearning. Wandering the deserted streets, Nasser imagines… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: The Girl with the Finnish Stalker

by Susan Harris, August 24, 2010

In this Summer of Stieg Larsson, we challenge Sweden's claim to the Nordic crime crown with a chilling Finnish story from our issue of June 2007.  In this extract from one of Matti Yrjänä Joensuu's Detective Harjunpää novels, a criminal with the deceptively mild name… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: The Particular Sadness of Fresh Lobster

by Susan Harris, August 17, 2010

Since the entire world is on vacation, anticipating vacation, or just back from vacation, we recommend "Agony in the Kitchen," from our issue of September 2003. Juan José Millás depicts a fretful man who installs his family in a beautiful seaside house but can't take a holiday from… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: Riding Bearback

by Susan Harris, August 11, 2010

If this month's wealth of Hungarian writing leaves you wanting more, look no further than our May 2008 issue. György Dragomán's "Haul" describes a human smuggler named Zeus and his less than Olympian methods.  In an unspecified year, he drives his desperate clients to an unnamed… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: Dueling Castro Autobiographies

by Susan Harris, August 3, 2010

Fidel Castro has announced the publication of The Strategic Victory, the first volume of his memoirs. (The second volume:  The Final Strategic Counteroffensive.) For a possibly more accurate perspective, check out these extracts from Norberto Fuentes's Autobiography of Fidel Castro: chapter… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: To the Winner Goes the Prosciutto

by Susan Harris, July 28, 2010

Jean-Philippe Toussaint's Self-Portrait Abroad collects the Belgian writer's impressions of his travels to destinations as diverse as Kyoto, Berlin, Hanoi, and Prague. The extract published in our issue of April 2006, "Cap Corse (The Best Day of My Life)," describes an afternoon on Corsica that… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: The Sweet Science and Magic

by Susan Harris, July 20, 2010

Ana María Shua's Rematch, from our August 2005 issue, goes twelve rounds with the story of Argentine boxer Carlos Monzón, the World Champion Middleweight from 1970 to 1977.  Our narrator, a grizzled old fan, recounts how he engineered Monzón's brilliant career and violent… more »

Category: From the Archive

From the Archives: Rx for World Cup Withdrawal

by Susan Harris, July 14, 2010

If the end of the World Cup has left you, in the words of Mexico's Álvaro Enrigue, "socceristically disoriented," we prescribe Enrigue's elegiac "Readymade" from our June 2006 issue. This memoir of Mexico's hapless Club de Fútbol Pachuca and its Alfonso "the Fool" Madrigal entwines… more »

Category: Dispatches

Pride in Padua

by Susan Harris, June 24, 2010

Before you head out to your local pride parade, stop by Padua's, courtesy of Matteo Bianchi's "Maternal Pride." Bianchi's droll panorama captures both the teeming crowd and the individual stories within. Kylie Minogue fanatic Marco, still dizzy from having shared his water bottle with his… more »

Category: Dispatches

From the Archives: Putting the “T” in GLBT

by Susan Harris, June 17, 2010

First published in our December 2007 Departures issue, Gaute Heivoll's  "Dr. Gordeau" follows a Norwegian man on an ominous trip to an unnamed country in search of a sex change. Seeking the elusive surgeon of the title, Anders moves numbly between the sinister clinic, the roiling market, and… more »