Articles by Susan Harris

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Patrick Modiano

October 9, 2014

The 2014 Nobel Prize in literature goes to France's Patrick Modiano. In its announcement, the Swedish Academy praised Modiano “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation." Modiano is well known in France,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature: Latest Odds (and Ends)

October 1, 2014

The Nobels kick off next week. Traditionally, the Swedish Academy reveals the date (always a Thursday) for the literature award only hours in advance, but since the Nobel week once again coincides with the Frankfurt Book Fair, the 9th seems likely. Other sources have been more assiduous in tracking the…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

September 24, 2014

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

“Thank You, Gabo”: Translators on García Márquez

April 24, 2014

In response to the death of Gabriel García Márquez, some of our translators from Spanish share thoughts on their first encounters with his work. We'll hear from others in the near future. "It was mid February 2001 when I first read Cien años. Like a lot of people, I remember…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Women in Translation: Right Here

April 10, 2014

Image of The Women in Translation: Right Here
The Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair was packed Tuesday for Where Are the Women in Translation? Readers will recognize the title from Alison Anderson's May 2013 piece about the gender disparity in translated literature. Alison found a huge majority of books published…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Our Year, in Review

December 31, 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, we'd like to thank our writers, translators, and readers for their many contributions in the last twelve months. This year has been one of celebration, as we marked our tenth anniversary, welcomed a new executive director, published our first e-book anthology,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

André Schiffrin, 1932–2013

December 2, 2013

André Schiffrin, founder of the New Press and former editor-in-chief of Pantheon Books, died yesterday in Paris.  Schiffrin played a major role in bringing literature in translation to English-language readers, first at Pantheon, where he published Jean-Paul Sartre, Günter Grass,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Celebrating WWB and Drenka Willen: Our Tenth Anniversary Gala

October 31, 2013

Tuesday night WWB staff, board, contributors, supporters, and readers gathered at Tribeca 360, where the panoramic view mirrored the sweep of our content, to celebrate our tenth anniversary and present the inaugural James H. Ottaway Jr. Award for the Promotion of International Literature…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Alice Munro

October 10, 2013

In the agents' center of the Frankfurt Book Fair, a squeal of delight snaps everyone to attention: the Nobel goes to Alice Munro. In what is perhaps an homage to Munro's chosen form, the Swedish Academy's citation notes, simply, "master of the short story." She's the…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature: Down to the Wire

October 7, 2013

We're down to the wire: the Swedish Academy will announce the Nobel Prize in literature this Thursday at 1:00 pm Stockholm time. This decision breaks with the tradition of holding the literature prize till the week after the others, which could suggest an early consensus (or, more…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Spain’s Great Untranslated on Tour

September 26, 2013

We're delighted to announce the fall tour for the anthology Spain's Great Untranslated, the print edition of our March 2013 issue. The tour kicks off Monday, September 30, in Miami, then continues to Houston on October 2 and Albuquerque on October 4. In Miami, editor and translator Valerie…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

WWB Writers at the Brooklyn Book Festival Sunday

September 20, 2013

New York readers, we hope you'll spend your Sunday afternoon with the many WWB contributors appearing at the Brooklyn Book Festival. You can kick off at 11:00 with our Andy Tepper leading Alexander Maksik, Juan Gabriel Vásquez , and Oonya Kempadoo  in thoughts on national…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

September 6, 2013

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Sławomir Mrożek, 1930–2013

August 31, 2013

Poland's great Sławomir Mrożek died August 15 in Nice. Though best known as a dramatist, Mrożek was also a prolific writer of short stories; we were delighted to include his "Ketchup," in Garry Malloy's witty translation, in our January 2012 issue on apocalypse. Mrożek's…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

“The Infinite Sequence of Minute Decisions”: An Editor at the BCLT Translation Summer School

August 9, 2013

I spent a rapt and giddy week last month at the British Center for Literary Translation’s summer school, housed at the lagomorphiliac University of East Anglia in Norwich. (I’d heard that the UEA campus is chockablock with rabbits, but did not anticipate that they would be grazing on the…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archive: Girls, and Women

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Exiles

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Spring Comes to the Mountains

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,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Graphic History

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Moving Around Me

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: If You’re Reading This, It Didn’t Happen

December 20, 2012

If the end of the year doesn't bring the end of the world, you might want to celebrate by looking back at January's Apocalypse issue. With a nod to the supposed Mayan prophecy (and not wanting to dawdle in case it was, well, correct), we devoted the month to the end of days, with apocalyptic…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Chinese Writing, Banned and Otherwise

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Mo Yan

October 11, 2012

The Nobel Prize in literature goes to Chinese writer Mo Yan. From the citation: “Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Down to the Wire

October 9, 2012

We're down to the wire. The Academy has confirmed that the Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced Thursday, and the speculation, oddly muted to date, has picked up a tad. Ladbrokes continues to show Haruki Murakami as frontrunner, now at 2:1, with Péter Nádas surging to 5:2 and…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Michael Henry Heim, 1943–2012

September 30, 2012

The incomparable Michael Henry Heim died September 29. Translator of scores of books from a dozen languages and professor of Slavic at UCLA for forty years, he did perhaps more than anyone to advance translation in the US. Michael shaped both theory and practice across the field, introducing English-language…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Round Two

September 25, 2012

Resuming our earier conversation, the speculation continues. Britain's suspiciously accurate Ladbrokes (remember, last year they had Tomas Transtromer in the top five) bets on Haruki Murakami at 5:1, followed by Bob Dylan (per an earlier commenter: oh, honestly) at 10:1, Mo Yan and Cees Nooteboom…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

September 6, 2012

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Ghosts on the Bridge

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,"…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Pride in Padua

June 22, 2012

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Two Takes on May-December

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Magdy El Shafee Publishes “Metro” in English

June 5, 2012

It's Metro Day at WWB. We're celebrating the publication of Magdy El Shafee's graphic novel, available today from Metropolitan Books in Chip Rossetti's translation. Readers will recall that WWB published an extract in February 2008, and that the book was seized on publication in Egypt…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Musical Beds, Catalan Style

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Poetry, Sex, and Rap

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Celebrating World Poetry Day

March 21, 2012

Today is World Poetry Day, and in celebration we invite you to explore our rich archives. Start with Ilya Kaminsky's brilliant manifesto on poetry in translation, "Correspondences in the Air," from our Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, and then turn to the nearly six hundred poems we've…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Japan, One Year Later

March 10, 2012

On March 11, 2011, the Tōhoku region of northeastern Japan was rocked by a violent earthquake and tsunami that triggered an accident at a nuclear power plant. We mark the anniversary with poems by two Japanese writers, both translated by Jeffrey Angles. In "Do Not Tremble," Sayaka…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist Announced

March 1, 2012

Three Percent, the resource for international literature based at the University of Rochester, has announced the fiction longlist for the 2012 Best Translated Book Awards. The twenty-five nominees include books by WWB authors David Albahari, Sergio Chejfec, Johan Harstad, Dany Laferrière, Inka…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Tahrir Square, One Year Ago

February 17, 2012

As the events of the Arab Spring unfolded last year, WWB published a number of dispatches from and about the affected countries.  One of our favorites came from Egyptian graphic novelist Magdy El Shafee. With his fellow artists, Magdy was creating and distributing a graphic journal on the abuses…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

MuXin, 1927–2011

December 23, 2011

Chinese writer and painter MuXin died December 21. MuXin was born in 1927 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, to an wealthy, aristocratic family. Like most intellectuals in the late 1940s, he rallied around Mao Zedong’s vision for a new China, but he quickly became disillusioned. Between the Communist…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

On North Korea: Leaders Great and Dear, and Literature

December 20, 2011

The opacity that his obituaries attribute to Kim Jong-il extends to North Korean literary culture. WWB has published a fair amount of writing from the country, starting with our second issue in September 2003, Writing from North Korea, and continuing with our anthology Literature from the "Axis of Evil":…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Tomas Tranströmer

October 6, 2011

The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to Sweden's great Tomas Tranströmer. The Swedish Academy said it recognized the eighty-year-old poet "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality." From his "Prelude," translated for us by Rika Lesser: In the first…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature: Countdown!

October 3, 2011

News flash: The usually coy Swedish Academy has announced that the Nobel will be awarded Thursday. In the home stretch, Ladbrokes keeps Adonis and Tranströmer to win and place, while Murakami moves into show; Unibet has Murakami leading, with Adonis passing Vijay dan Detha into second and Les Murray…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature: Round Two

September 29, 2011

Resuming last week's conversation, the speculation continues. Britain's suspiciously accurate Ladbrokes bets on Adonis at 4:1, followed by Tomas Transtromer at 9:2 and Peter Nadas at 10:1. Thomas Pynchon and Assia Dejebar are at 12:1, with Ko Un in sixth position at 14:1.  Any number of…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

September 16, 2011

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From WWB to Book: Success Stories, III

August 15, 2011

Image of From WWB to Book: Success Stories, III
Continuing our series on WWB authors who've sold English-language rights to their work as a result of appearing in WWB, we're delighted to announce the publication of Johan Harstad’s Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?  The novel tells the story of the quiet gardener…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

PEN Translation Prizes Announced

August 11, 2011

PEN has just announced its literary awards for 2011. The award for poetry in translation went to Khaled Mattawa for Adonis: Selected Poems by Adonis (Yale University Press, The Margellos World Republic of Letters Series), and for prose to Ibrahim Muhawi for Journal of an Ordinary Grief by Mahmoud Darwish…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

How Long It Is, This Arab Spring

July 27, 2011

It's now seven months since Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire and ignited the Arab Spring. As we wrap up the first of two issues of writing from the uprisings, it's instructive to look back at Dispatches filed as events were unfolding. At the end of January, Chip Rossetti considered the "rumbling…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

NEA Translation Awards Announced

July 22, 2011

The NEA has announced this year's fellowships for translation projects, and we're very happy to see so many WWB translators among the recipients. Congratulations to Eric Abrahamsen,  Ross Benjamin (you can read an extract from his project here), Peter Constantine, Kristin Dykstra, Michelle…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From WWB to Book: Success Stories, II

June 30, 2011

Image of From WWB to Book: Success Stories, II
Continuing our series on WWB authors who've sold English-language rights to their work as a result of appearing in WWB, we're delighted to announce the publication of the graphic novel Farm 54, written by Galit Seliktar and illustrated by Gilad Seliktar, now available from Fanfare/Ponent Mon.…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Edward Gauvin Wins Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award

June 19, 2011

We're thrilled to report that our magnifique translator Edward Gauvin has won the Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award for his rendering of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud's Life on Paper: Stories. The collection was also short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. Edward published…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Bolaño Guide to WWB

June 14, 2011

If you're compiling a reading list from Roberto Bolaño's Between Parentheses, you can find many of his recommended authors right here at WWB. Looking for "the best woman writer in Mexico"? That would be Carmen Boullosa. Is César Aira "mainly just boring," or "one of the three or…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Eduardo Halfon Awarded Guggenheim

June 10, 2011

We're delighted to report that Eduardo Halfon has been awarded a Guggenheim Latin American and Caribbean Fellowship. In "The Polish Boxer," from our July 2009 Memory and Lies issue, Halfon gives voice to his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, whose revision of the past has enabled him to live into…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Teachers’ Pets, and Fools for Love

June 9, 2011

Marco Di Marco's "Moving Like Geckos" has a fraternal twin in last year's queer issue. Polish writer Eva Schilling's  "Fool"  also features a teacher-student pairing; in this case, though, the characters are female, and the classroom is not in an urban university, but in a provincial…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Best Translated Book Awards Go to Aleš Šteger/Brian Henry, Tove Jansson/Thomas Teal

May 2, 2011

The winning titles and translators for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards were announced Friday evening at the Bowery Poetry Club as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. BTBA co-founder Chad Post kicked off the event, then turned over the microphone to Lorin Stein, who announced the winners…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Ernesto Sábato, 1911–2011

May 1, 2011

Argentine writer and human rights hero Ernesto Sábato has died at the age of ninety-nine. Sábato was the author of The Tunnel (1948), On Heroes and Tombs (1961), and The Angel of Darkness (1974), and winner of the most prestigious Hispanic literary awards, when in 1983 he was appointed…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Poetry Forum: International Women Poets

April 26, 2011

April brings both Poetry Month and the first anniversary of the publication of our Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. In his introduction to the anthology, editor Ilya Kaminsky lamented the shortage of translations of international women poets and pledged to address the issue in WWB. In addition,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

New MLA Guidelines on Evaluating Translations

April 20, 2011

The Modern Language Association has posted new guidelines for evaluating translations as scholarship for tenure review.  Building on previous publications by ALTA and PEN, and drawing on the report of the academic working group at the Salzburg Global Seminar 461, the document offers guidelines for…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From Saigon to Quebec: Kim Thuy

April 6, 2011

Kim Thuy was born into privilege in Saigon in 1968 and fled ten years later with her family. After a harrowing crossing in the hold of a fishing boat and a miserable stay in a Malaysian refugee camp, the family settled in Quebec. Thuy's Ru, from our May 2010 issue, recounts these experiences in poetic,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Writer and the Screenwriter: An Interview with Domenico Starnone

March 22, 2011

Domenico Starnone has written for film both directly and indirectly: he has over a dozen screenplays to his credit, and has had one of his novels, Denti, turned into a film. This interview was conducted on e-mail. The questions were translated into Italian by Marco Candida, and Starnone's responses…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

“Hitchcock and Agha Baji”: The MacGuffin in Iran

March 8, 2011

Behnam Dayani's

Articles by Susan Harris

Magdy El Shafee’s “Metro” to be Published in English

March 2, 2011

We're delighted to report that Magdy El Shafee's graphic novel, Metro, will be published by Metropolitan Books in early 2012. Readers will recall that WWB published an extract in February 2008, and that the book was seized on publication in Egypt and Magdy and his publisher put on trial. You…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Questions for Peter Bush and Teresa Solana

February 23, 2011

Peter Bush has been translating the fiction of Teresa Solana since 2005, producing sparkling English versions of many of her stories and two of her comic noirs, A Shortcut to Paradise and A Not So Perfect Crime.  Here the couple, both former directors of national translation centers, talk about…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

film icon Censorship in Egypt: An Interview with Magdy El Shafee

February 12, 2011

In February 2008, WWB published an extract from the first Egyptian graphic novel for adults, Magdy El Shafee's Metro. Set in a chaotic modern Cairo pulsing with economic and social instability, the novel protrays the city as a vortex of political corruption. When the book was published in Egypt two…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Humphrey Davies Wins 2010 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize

January 19, 2011

Congratulations to our marvelous Arabic translator Humphrey Davies, winner of the 2010 Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for his translation of Elias Khoury's novel Yalo. Humphrey also won the inaugural Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize in 2006 for his translation of…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

A Training Manual for Murder

January 18, 2011

Ambar Past's mordant "Practice for Hangmen," from our March 2007 issue, offers a training manual for executioners. Jumping off from a Reuters report on the unfortunate results of flawed execution, Past puts a twist to the list poem. Acknowledging the inherent problem of practice, she advises, "Get…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Worst Editing Job in the World

January 4, 2011

. . . is the task accepted by the narrator of Horacio Castellanos Moya's Senselessness. In this extract from our issue of October 2006, a self-described "depraved atheist" writer is hired by the Catholic Church to edit an eleven-hundred-page report on the military's massacres of Indian villages. …...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

White Christmas, Black Magic

December 24, 2010

For a twist on seasonal themes, check out Angelo Cannavacciuolo's "White Christmas," from our December 2008 issue. Yes, the story takes place on December 23 and 24, and snow does finally fall; but the title refers to the perfume with which the hooker Maria has ensorcelled the older, married Antonio,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Platform of Blood

December 9, 2010

After you've shuddered through this month's offerings, check out "The Platform" from January 2010. Brazil's Pena Cabreira enters the mind of a master carpenter and builds to a piercing climax. You may never leave ground level again.

Articles by Susan Harris

Wu Ming on King: On Translating Stephen King into Italian

December 6, 2010

We were intrigued to learn that Stephen King's new Italian translator is a member of the collective known as Wu Ming.  Wu Ming 1 graciously agreed to answer our questions. WWB: How did you decide to translate this book [Full Dark, No Stars]? WM1: I've been reading King's books since…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Other Turkey

November 26, 2010

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, we serve up the other Turkey. In addition to the fiction and poetry in this month's issue ("Before winter arrives you must hire a handsome assassin"), do help yourself to our all-Turkish issues. The first, "Women on the Verge of European Union," from December…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From a Syrian Prison

November 10, 2010

Although our new anthology, Tablet and Pen,  is predicated on the common experience of colonialization, many of the contributors have also fought repression by their own governments. Syrian writer Faraj Bayraqdar was arrested in 1987 on suspicion of having been active in that country's Party…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Adonis on Migration and Loss

November 3, 2010

The many marvelous poets in our new anthology, Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, include the dazzling Adonis. The  most important poet writing in Arabic today and a perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize, Adonis--critic, translator, and anthologist--is a crucial part…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Vargas Llosa

October 7, 2010

It's Mario Vargas Llosa. The announcement isn't on the Nobel site site yet, but the Swedish Academy commended the author "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat." He's the first South American writer since…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature:  Week Three Countdown

October 5, 2010

Forty-eight hours to go to the announcement, and the race is up for grabs. Six hours ago, Ladbrokes had Ngugi wa Thiong’o at 3:1, followed by Cormac McCarthy (6:1), Haruki Murakami (7:1), Tomas Transtromer (9:1), Adonis (11:1), Gerald Murnane (11:1), and Ko Un (12:1). At day's end, Ngugi remains…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From WWB to Book: Success Stories

September 30, 2010

Image of From WWB to Book: Success Stories
To our delight, a number of WWB authors have sold English-language rights to their work as a result of publication in WWB. We'll be highlighting some of them in this series. The prolific Moroccan writer Abdelilah Hamdouchi had not appeared in English before WWB published a chapter from his Final…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature:  Week Two

September 28, 2010

Resuming last week's conversation, the speculation continues. Britain's suspiciously accurate Ladbrokes is yet to weigh in, but  Unibet has posted odds for candidates both familiar (Adonis) and ludicrous (Thomas Bodström), with Paraguay's thirty-year-old Néstor Amarilla the…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

September 21, 2010

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

NEA Literature Translation Fellowships Announced

September 10, 2010

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the 2011 Literature Translation Fellowships, and we're delighted to see so many WWB friends and contributors on the list. Congratulations to Esther Allen, Robert Bononno, Bill Coyle, Edward Gauvin, Jason Grunebaum, Yasmeen Hanoosh, Deborah Hoffman,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Trading Maniacs

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Fady Joudah Wins PEN USA Translation Prize

September 4, 2010


Articles by Susan Harris

F*** You around the World

September 3, 2010

The New York Times is known for its demure treatment of profanity, but a recent article on a cheery new song with an unprintable title took this habitual prissiness to new heights. The writer, Noam Cohen, delivered a masterpiece of (in)elegant variation in his valiant avoidance of The Word. Which made…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

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

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: The Girl with the Finnish Stalker

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: The Particular Sadness of Fresh Lobster

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Riding Bearback

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Elif Shafak on the Politics of Fiction

August 5, 2010

Ted.com features a video of Turkish writer and WWB contributor Elif Shafak speaking on the politics of fiction.  Shafak describes her childhood as the daughter of a diplomat, recalls the various stereotypes her classmates had of Turkey and the correspondingly clichéd expectations put on multicultural…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Dueling Castro Autobiographies

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: To the Winner Goes the Prosciutto

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Lives on Paper

July 23, 2010

We're delighted to note the publication of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud's Life on Paper, a collection of short stories selected and translated by Edward Gauvin. Châteaureynaud is recognized as one of France's top fabulists, but had little exposure in English until Gauvin…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: The Sweet Science and Magic

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Translating the World

July 20, 2010

The Banff Centre Press has just published a collection of essays on translation, Beyond Words: Translating the World, edited by Susan Ouriou, director of the Banff International Literary Translation Center. The Centre offers an annual summer residency for translators working into and from the languages…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Rx for World Cup Withdrawal

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Pride in Padua

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

From the Archives: Putting the “T” in GLBT

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…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

PEN Translation Awards Announced

June 2, 2010

PEN has just announced the winners of the 2010 translation awards, and we're delighted to see three of our translators on the list. Congratulations to Peter Golub, awarded for his translations of the Russian flash-fiction writer Linor Goralnik; Chip Rossetti, recognized for his translation of a collection…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Andrei Voznesensky, 1933–2010

June 1, 2010

The Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky has died at seventy-seven. Here are the first and last stanzas from his “Darkmotherscream,” translated by Robert Bly and Vera Dunham, in The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry:   Darkmotherscream is a Siberian dance, cry from prison or a yell for…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Prieto, Mandelstam, Allen, and Correspondences in the Air

May 25, 2010

The June 10 issue of the New York Review of Books includes Jose Manuel Prieto's fascinating "Reading Mandelstam on Stalin," translated by the impeccable Esther Allen. Prieto describes struggling to translate Mandelstam's defiant "Epigram on Stalin"—that famous "death sentence in sixteen…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Ilya Kaminsky, Reading

May 19, 2010

Last night the Poetry Foundation held its annual Pegasus Award ceremony at the Arts Club of Chicago, and our Ilya Kaminsky blew the roof right off. Speaking in his capacity as a former recipient of a Ruth Lilly fellowship, Ilya told the audience that when he got the news, he was living with his wife…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Foreign Policy Debuts Translation Feature

May 8, 2010

Foreign Policy debuts a feature, "Overcoming the Language Barrier," presenting brief extracts from fiction and nonfiction in translation from Afrikaans, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

Articles by Susan Harris

Wolff Prize to Ross Benjamin

April 26, 2010

We're delighted to report that Ross Benjamin has been awarded the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize for his translation of Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov, published by Verso. From the announcement: "The jury finds that this remarkably musical translation reads beautifully, and brings to…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Fanfare for Farm 54

April 7, 2010

A number of books have been bought for English-language publication as a result of extracts we've published, and we've just learned of another. We're delighted to report that English-language rights for Galit Seliktar and Gilad Seliktar's Farm 54, part of which ran in our February 2010…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

On Poetry in Translation

March 24, 2010

The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry has been out for a couple of weeks now, and as we await the critical response, I think of the most satisfying poetry review I read last year: Jon Stallworthy, writing in the TLS of December 4, 2009, on Clare Cavanagh's translation of Adam Zagajewski's…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Ilya on Poetry in Poetry

March 10, 2010

The March issue of Poetry includes Adam Kirsch's thrilling interview with Ilya Kaminsky about our Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.  With the erudite brilliance that characterizes his introduction, Ilya notes the French source of a Yeats poem popular in China, cites Seamus Heaney's…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

film icon Every Unhappy Family Is Funny in Its Own Way

February 4, 2010

As a lagniappe, we’re complementing our extract from Blutch’s That Was Happiness—in which a divorcing couple has The Talk with their young son—with a brief video of the artist discussing his book. With a plangent sax in the background, Blutch acknowledges the autobiographical…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Op Oloop

January 28, 2010

Image of Op Oloop
 In the spirit of our PerecFest, I recommend Juan Filloy’s Op Oloop, published last summer by Dalkey Archive in Lisa Dillman’s ingenious translation. The title chimes with upending as well as with Oulipo, both appropriate cognates for Filloy’s ludic acrobatics. Filloy spoke…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Task of the MLA

January 18, 2010

At MLA in Philadelphia, the theme was translation, the community was out in force, and the Benjamin evoked was Walter, not Franklin. Here the discussion of translation focused not only on technique or publication, butalsoon teaching and training: how to incorporate foreign literature in the curriculum,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Salon du Livre de Montréal

November 26, 2009

Bonjour from the Salon du Livre de Montréal Salon. Katie Mace of Europa, Lorin Stein of FSG, and I are here on an editors trip courtesy of the Délégation générale du Québec in New York; the Société de Développement des Industries Culturelles…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

September 22, 2009

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as 2008 laureate J. M. G. Le Clézio, 1988 laureate…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Updike and Foreign Fiction

January 28, 2009

In May 1998 I opened the New Yorker to discover a review, by John Updike, of Péter Esterházy's She Loves Me, which I'd published in my Hydra imprint in late 1997. The review was not a rave. Updike compared the book unfavorably to Calvino, tsk-tsked at the breakneck pace of the narrative,…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Fagles Prize to Lawrence Venuti

November 26, 2008

We're delighted to report that Lawrence Venuti has been awarded the 2008 Robert Fagles Translation Prize for his translation of the Catalan poet Ernest Farrés's Edward Hopper. You can read four of these poems, each inspired by a different Hopper painting, in our Catalan issue of last October....read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

October 1, 2008

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as 1988 laureate Naguib Mahfouz and, of course, any number…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Mahmoud Darwish, 1941-2008

August 9, 2008

Mahmoud Darwish is dead. The great poet of Palestinian displacement died in a Houston hospital after open-heart surgery. In a poem in his 2006 "Diary," Darwish writes, If you were told: you're going to die here this evening What would you do in the remaining time? ... I realize how my life Is about to…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Graphic Censorship

April 17, 2008

Troubling news from Cairo, where Magdy El Shafee's new graphic novel, The Metro, has been seized by police on the ground of "disturbing public morals." Magdy reports that police raided the offices of the Malameh publishing house, confiscated all copies of the book, and forbade the publisher to print…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

The Year in Translation

December 4, 2007

The end of the year is upon us, and with it the end of year lists of the best of everything. What new translations did you read this year, and what did you like? Loathe? Long for? Cast your vote now.

Articles by Susan Harris

The Guardian on Translation

November 18, 2007

Richard Lea in the Guardian uses the Society of Authors' annual translation prize as a springboard to explore the current state of translation publishing.

Articles by Susan Harris

The 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

September 30, 2007

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as 1988 laureate Naguib Mahfouz and, of course, any number…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Jungle Books

September 25, 2007

The New York Times follows our Lusophone lead with a profile of our Milton Hatoum and his fellow Brazilian Márcio Souza.

Articles by Susan Harris

Chronicle of a Murder Foretold

September 6, 2007

A Polish writer has been convicted of a 2000 murder that replicated (or, more accurately, foreshadowed) the pulpy plot of his 2003 novel. The court ruled the evidence insufficient to convict Krystian Bala of killing Dariusz Janiszewski, but strong enough to charge him with planning and orchestrating…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

This Week in Diacritics

June 25, 2007

With this issue, we present our most challenging translation: the redesign and re-engineering of the WWB site. During the transition, a number of codes and special characters were muddled, including—mortifyingly—our beloved diacritics. Which got me thinking about these sherpas of foreign…...read more »

Articles by Susan Harris

Notes from Frankfurt

December 31, 1969

Turkey, the guest of honor, has dispatched a delegation of 350 writers, interpreters, and translators to the Book Fair. A Fair supplement to the English-language paper Today's Zaman notes that Turkey's application for guest country status had been repeatedly turned down "because of issues including torture…...read more »