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WWB’s Holiday Reading List

December 11, 2014

hr {margin:4em 0;background-color:white;} Still looking for the perfect gift for your international literature-loving friends and family? Let WWB's editors, reviewers, and contributors help! Susan Harris The Antiquarian, by Gustavo Faverón Patriau (Grove Press, Black Cat) Translated…...read more »

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WWB Celebrates Its 2014 Gala and the First Annual Globe Trot

October 24, 2014

The 2014 Words without Borders Gala  Join us for the 2014 Words without Borders Gala on October 28, 2014 at Tribeca Three Sixty. We will honor Carol Brown Janeway with the 2014 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature, presented by Luiz Schwarcz. We'll also launch our new…...read more »

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WWB’s Holiday Reading List

December 19, 2013

Having a hard time choosing between all the great books in translation available this time of year? Let WWB's staff, reviewers, and contributors guide you through the best books in translation we read this year. —the Editors    Jonathan Blitzer Where There's Love There's…...read more »

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From the Editors: On “Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years”

November 22, 2013

Image of From the Editors: On “Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years”
As part of our ongoing celebration of our ten-year anniversary, we're delighted to share this behind-the-scenes look into the making of our tenth-anniversary e-anthology Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years. Editors Samantha Schnee, Susan Harris, and Rohan Kamicheril talk…...read more »

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Join WWB for its Tenth Anniversary Gala

October 2, 2013

Words without Borders invites our readers to join us for our Tenth Anniversary Gala on October 29, 2013 from 6-9 PM, at Tribeca Three Sixty in New York City. Ticket information can be found on our Eventbrite page.   Celebrate ten years of WWB with us and join us in honoring distinguished book…...read more »

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We Have a New Executive Director!

October 1, 2013

We’re pleased to welcome Karen Phillips as the new executive director of Words without Borders. She joined us in late September and has hit the ground running with preparations for our upcoming 10th Anniversary Gala and preparations for the launch of Words without Borders Campus. Karen comes to…...read more »

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Day Three at the London Book Fair

April 19, 2012

The highlight of the third and final day at the Literary Translation Center was a conversation among poets, editors, and translators about an exciting new book of contemporary Chinese poetry.  The book is called Jade Ladder—and the panelists discussing it, and related subjects, sounded like…...read more »

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Day Two at the London Book Fair

April 17, 2012

The London Book Fair runs from April 16-April 18, and WWB brings it to you from the Literary Translation Centre, a seminar dedicated to all aspects of literary translation.  Follow us each day on Twitter--@WWBorders---and on our Dispatches blog, where we'll be posting daily round-ups with…...read more »

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Day One at the London Book Fair

April 16, 2012

The London Book Fair runs from April 16-April 18, and WWB brings it to you from the Literary Translation Centre, a seminar dedicated to all aspects of literary translation.  Follow us each day on Twitter--@WWBorders---and on our Dispatches blog, where we'll be posting daily round-ups with news…...read more »

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From the London Book Fair, Day 3

April 14, 2011

In a morning session at today’s London Book Fair, Daniel Hahn asked a group of translators and translation advocates what it is exactly that makes a good translator. An “open-ended and impossible” question, he hastened to add, but one that at least needed to be considered by the panel,…...read more »

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From the London Book Fair: Myths and Myth-busting

April 13, 2011

Some welcome myth-busting about translation today at day two of the Literary Translation Center.  During the opening session, called “Translation Intelligence: Surveys, Reports, Statistics—What’s the Story Behind Them?,” Jonathan Heawood, director of English PEN, plugged…...read more »

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From the London Book Fair—Translations and Liquidity: Crises and Capital

April 12, 2011

The first day of the Literary Translation Center at the London Book Fair has first and foremost been about asking questions.  This is because one of the organizing themes of the day—and a refrain among the handful of panels held—has turned on one of the biggest issues facing literature…...read more »

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Statement of Intent, by Georges Perec

January 19, 2010

Image of Statement of Intent, by Georges Perec
When I attempt to state what I have tried to do as a writer since I began, what occurs to me first of all is that I have never written two books of the same kind, or ever wanted to reuse a formula, or a system, or an approach already developed in some earlier work. This systematic versatility has baffled…...read more »

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Weekend Reading

May 15, 2009

"Witness to war: Evelio Rosero on fiction that fights for the truth" on Rosero's win of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Armies, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean: As many as 100,000 people - mostly civilians - have been killed or "disappeared" in the past 20 years in a conflict…...read more »

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Weekend Reading: Nawal El Saadawi, Lynne Tillman, and more…

April 17, 2009

This week's weekend reading starts with some pieces from the PEN Website where we've been spending a lot of time recently gearing up for the PEN World Voices Festival. ---------------------- Nawal El Saadawi: How Does the World Change? "They told us that the year 1989 is a crucial year in world history.…...read more »

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Weekend Reading

April 10, 2009

Where we share some of what we're reading around the net...Enjoy ---------------------- Interview with Daniel Alarcón at La Bloga on the recent Latin American themed issue of Zoetrope: All-Story that he edited along with Diego Trelles Paz: "Alarcón: Latin America has changed a great deal…...read more »

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Say No to Metro Confiscation and Trial

April 1, 2009

Say No to "Metro" Confiscation Last year we published an excerpt from Magdy El Shafee's Metro, an Arabic graphic novel set in Cairo that deals with the financial and social insecurity in Egypt. Shortly after it was published Shafee's novel was confiscated. He and his publisher are on trial for its distribution.…...read more »

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Resources for Further Reading (and viewing) on Etgar Keret

April 1, 2009

As a last post in this month's Etgar Keret discussion, we've included some links below for more information on Etgar Keret, his other projects, and also upcoming events (New Yorkers, check out the Walter Reade Theater and the MoMA this week). As always, you can find a complete list of the posts…...read more »

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Blogging about Graphics in February

February 3, 2009

As part of our third annual Graphic Novels issue, we'll be featuring blog posts on the art, inspiration, histories and technical details behind the most exciting graphic narratives out there. All this February, we're joined by Edward Gauvin, Yani Mentzas, Heinz Insu Fenkl and others, in a discussion…...read more »

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For Translators—Vermont Studio Center Deadlines

January 29, 2009

For all our translator-readers, the Vermont Studio Center has listed the fellowships available as part of its upcoming February 17 application deadline. For more details on the fellowships, application requirements and the list itself, head to the VSC website where they provide important information…...read more »

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“The Literature of Immigration” at FLYP

January 8, 2009

FLYP takes a look at the "Literature of Immigration" in its latest issue and features short interviews with the participants at the WWB- and Americas Society-sponsored event at the Americas Society in New York City last October. The event featured Neil Bissoondath, Marjorie Agosin and WWB author Amara…...read more »

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Online Book Club for “The Diving Pool” by Yoko Ogawa

January 8, 2009

This January, we kick off the year in book clubs with an online discussion of Yoko Ogawa's Diving Pool. Ogawa is one of contemporary Japan's most celebrated authors, and her collection of meticulously crafted, dark and troubling novellas provides a glimpse into the subtle, twisted drama of everyday life.…...read more »

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Ilya Kaminsky Awarded Lannan Literary Fellowship

December 11, 2008

Ilya Kaminsky, poetry editor at Words Without Borders, has been awarded a two-year literary fellowship by the Lannan Foundation. From their website: The Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships were established in 1989 to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality.…...read more »

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Le Clezio wins Nobel

October 9, 2008

In a decision that none of our in-house bookmakers called, French author J. M. G. Le Clezio has won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. Dig into the WWB archives for a look at his work, in this excerpt from his book Wandering Star

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Words with Borders…and Borders and Borders

October 5, 2008

With regrets for the delay in commenting on this, here's an interesting piece from the New York Times on the complicated and often confounding interplay of language, culture and politics in the Caucasus. It's an intriguing look at the fate of the lingua franca that falls out of grace, and provides some…...read more »

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Mahmoud Darwish Tribute on the Bowery

October 3, 2008

A tribute to the late Mahmoud Darwish will be held at the Bowery Poetry Club this Sunday, October 5th at 1:30 PM. Readers will include Breyten Breytenbach, Pierre Joris, Ammiel Alcalay, Ghassan Nasr, Danae Elon, Bob Holman and others. Admission is free, and we encourage all the New Yorkers and lovers…...read more »

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Jabuti Prize for Tezza’s “Eternal Son”

September 30, 2008

WWB author Cristovão Tezza has won the prestigious Jabuti Prize for his book The Eternal Son. You can read an excerpt from the book in our September issue, over here Our heartiest congratulations to him!

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2009 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation

September 23, 2008

Translators under 30, this is for you: The Susan Sontag Foundation has announced its annual prize for translation, with a cash award of $5,000. This year the call is for work translated from Spanish into English. You can find more details on applying at the website, and look at the winners of last year's…...read more »

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Yalo Discussion Forum

September 7, 2008

Have a comment you'd like to add to the discussion? Add it below. Comments are moderated and may take a while to appear on the forum.

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Walser and the Visual Arts

June 30, 2008

Post your thoughts on Walser or The Assistant below. Comments are moderated, and will appear after a very short delay, so avoid posting twice if you notice that your post doesn't appear immediately. Comment here on Tom Whalen's "Composition for Robert Walser" as well as Sam Jones's interviews with Tom…...read more »

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The Translators’ Roundtable Forum

June 12, 2008

Post your thoughts on Walser or The Assistant below. Comments are moderated, and will appear after a very short delay, so avoid posting twice if you notice that your post doesn't appear immediately. In the Translators' Roundtable, Damion Searls, Tom Whalen, Millay Hyatt and Mark Harman spoke about discovering…...read more »

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A Dangerous Occupation

June 5, 2008

Issue #2 of Triple Canopy has the first ever translation of the "Caracas Speech" that Roberto Bolaño gave when he was awarded the Rómulo Gallegos prize for his novel "The Savage Detectives." It's a wonderfully digressive piece that starts with Bolaño's reminiscences on the battle between…...read more »

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“The Assistant” Book Club

June 3, 2008

We're delighted to officially kick off our 2008 book club series with a month-long discussion of Robert Walser's The Assistant. The Assistant is the first of WWB's seven picks from this year's Reading the World program. Sam Jones will be moderating this month's book club, and he will be joined by Susan…...read more »

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“The Assistant” Book Club Discussion

May 29, 2008

Post your thoughts on Walser or The Assistant below. Comments are moderated, and will appear after a very short delay, so avoid posting twice if you notice that your post doesn't appear immediately. Have a thought but need a prompt to put it into words? Take a look at our discussion questions: —Some…...read more »

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Global Gourmet Blogs!

May 28, 2008

All this month, to celebrate our Global Gourmet issue, the blogs at WWB will feature guest essays by food writers and bloggers from around the world on an aspect of the food culture of their stomping grounds that stands out for them. A brief sampling of the courses to come: Niloufer Ichaporia King walks…...read more »

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Columbia Graduate Student Translation Conference

April 1, 2008

Sunday marked the end of Columbia's three-day Graduate Student Translation Conference. Panel discussions revolved around various aspects of the work, business and craft of translation. Chad Post recaps the conference highjinks over at Three Percent. We're also lucky to have more on-the-ground reportage…...read more »

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Pan-African Literary Forum in Ghana

March 18, 2008

The Pan-African Literary Forum announces its Summer Writers' Conference, as well as two scholarships that will take the winners, with all-expenses paid, to Ghana to attend. The conference will gather both established and emerging writers from Africa, the Diaspora and around the world for a series of…...read more »

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And the Winners Are! (Publishers, sign these folks up…)

March 17, 2008

Hot off the presses...the winners of the 2008 PEN Translation Fund grants... PEN Translation Fund Announcement of 2008 Grant Recipients The PEN Translation Fund, now celebrating its fifth year of existence, is pleased to announce the winners of this year's competition. Out of a stellar field of 123 applicants,…...read more »

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HERBERT: POET OF DESPONDENT HOPE

February 24, 2008

Raport z oblężonego miasta Report from a Besieged City by Cynthia Haven In the final installment in our discussion on Zbigniew Herbert's Collected Poems Cynthia Haven leads us through Herbert's Report from a Besieged City. We're deeply grateful for both Cynthia's and James's wonderful…...read more »

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Lawrence Venuti Tells us Some More About the Business of Translation

February 15, 2008

Earlier this month, Words Without Borders featured a piece by Lawrence Venuti on the business side of publishing books in translation. Venuti's article was written for the Frankfurt Book Fair Panel on To Be Translated or Not to Be, the report by Esther Allen, the Ramon Llull Institute and various PEN…...read more »

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“I will oppress you with my strange love”:  Andrzej Franaszek discusses the friendship of Zbigniew H

February 10, 2008

Andrzej Franaszek is a literary critic and cultural editor of the Polish weekly Tygodnik Powszechny. He is the author of Ciemne źródło (Dark Spring), which discusses the subject of suffering in the poetry of Zbigniew Herbert (the second edition will be published later in 2008). He is also…...read more »

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“Emigration, Displacement and Loss in Polish Poetry: An Interview with Anna Frajlich”

January 21, 2008

by Anna Frajlich Cynthia Haven talks to Anna Frajlich about exile, aesthetics, ethics and more in the work of Zbigniew Herbert. You can read Anna Frajlich's essay on Herbert's "Apollo and Marsyas" over here. —Editors Anna Frajlich has been called "the best Polish poetess of her generation." The…...read more »

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“The Truth of Human Suffering”: Anna Frajlich on “Apollo and Marsyas”

January 15, 2008

by Anna Frajlich Anna Frajlich talks about aesthetics and ethics in Herbert's "Apollo and Marsyas." Anna Frajlich has been called "the best Polish poetess of her generation." The émigré poet, scholar, and educator teaches at Columbia University.—Editors Herbert's poetry takes us into…...read more »

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Expanses of the Unspoken: An Interview with Peter Dale Scott

January 8, 2008

by Peter Dale Scott Cynthia Haven interviews Peter Dale Scott, one of the earliest translators of the work of Zbigniew Herbert. You can find James Marcus's introduction to the poet over here.—Editors Peter Dale Scott has worn many hats: he is a poet, former diplomat, professor emeritus of English…...read more »

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January Book Club— the “Collected Poems” of Zbigniew Herbert

January 8, 2008

We're delighted to launch the year in book clubs with a fantastic new club on the Collected Poems of the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert. Conducting interviews, holding forth on individual poems and encouraging discussion this month are James Marcus and Cynthia Haven. James Marcus is an author and translator…...read more »

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Final Thoughts on Laye

January 2, 2008

In the final installment of our book club discussion of Camara Laye's The Radiance of the King, Laila Lalami discusses the ways in which Laye's book went against the literary conventions of writing about "the dark continent."—Editors As I mentioned in an earlier post, the NYRB edition of Camara…...read more »

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Sandy Taylor (1931-2007)

December 22, 2007

Alexander (Sandy) Taylor was a brilliant publisher of literature in translation whose Curbstone Press, co-founded with his wife, Judith Doyle, is an inspiration to us all. For those who didn't know him, this interview on his life and work published last summer in New Pages, offers a glimpse of his creativity,…...read more »

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Kafka and Laye—Literary Influences in “The Radiance of the King”

December 17, 2007

In this installment of our discussion of The Radiance of the King, Laila talks about the influences at play in Laye's work, the contentious issue of the book's authorship and the ways in which Laye is most like—and unlike—the author he quotes in the epigraph to his book.—Editors Let…...read more »

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Landing on an Unknown Coast—the Story of “The Radiance of the King”

December 10, 2007

In the second post in our December book club on The Radiance of the King, Laila Lalami talks about the story of The Radiance of the King and the unique ways in which it addresses the protagonist's complicated personal journey. Also see Laila's introductory post—Editors. I want to start our discussion…...read more »

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December Book Club—Laila Lalami on Camara Laye’s The Radiance of the King

December 3, 2007

This month, Laila Lalami heads our book club discussion of Camara Laye's The Radiance of the King. Laila is the author of the 2005 collection of fiction Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and you can find more of her writing at her blog. We're thrilled to have Laila hosting discussion this month and hope…...read more »

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Cogwheels

December 1, 2007

As we come to the end of our book club on Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short story collection Mandarins, Michael tackles Cogwheels, another posthumously published story by the author. We'd like to thank Michael Orthofer again, for a great month of reading Akutagawa and a fantastic journey through the life and…...read more »

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The Life of a Fool

November 29, 2007

As we near the home stretch of our discussion of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's Mandarins, Michael Orthofer offers up some ruminations on The Life of a Fool, Akutagawa's posthumously-published collection of very short pieces. Earlier posts can be found here: a look at the titular story, Mandarins; the approach…...read more »

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Akutagawa—the Writer, the Works

November 26, 2007

As we near the end of our discussion of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's The Mandarins this month, Michael Orthofer dwells a little on our ideas of the author and his work. Earlier posts can be found here: a look at the titular story, Mandarins; the approach to storytelling in Evening Conversation; a conversation…...read more »

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Literary Influences and East Meets West

November 17, 2007

Michael Orthofer continues with yet another post for this month's book club, on the next of the stories from Ryunosuke Akutagawa's collections Mandarins. We began the month with an introduction to Akutagawa's works; a look at the titular story, Mandarins; and the approach to storytelling in Evening Conversation.…...read more »

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An Evening Conversation

November 13, 2007

Plowing ahead, we have the next post in this month's book club discussion on Ryunosuke Akutagawa's Mandarins. In this post, Michael Orthofer discusses the discursive narrative of Akutagawa's An Evening Conversation.—Editors I think it's worth lingering over An Evening Conversation,…...read more »

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What’s with the title?—and a look at “Mandarins”

November 9, 2007

Michael Orthofer kicks off discussion of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short-story collection Mandarins in this post with a discussion of the titular story from the collection and a rumination on the murky provenance of its name. You can find Michael's earlier introductory post over here. So take a look, follow…...read more »

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November Book Club—Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s “Mandarins”

November 5, 2007

We're very pleased to bring you the first installment in this month's book club, dedicated to Ryunosuke Akutagawa's Mandarins. This month, discussion will be headed by Michael Orthofer, managing editor from the Complete Review and its Literary Saloon. We hope you'll follow along and jump into the fray…...read more »

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Arthur Philips on “The Rebels”, “Embers” and Gyula Krúdy

October 25, 2007

Arthur Phillips was born in Minneapolis in 1969 and educated at Harvard. He has been a child actor, a jazz musician, a speechwriter, a dismally failed entrepreneur, and a five-time Jeopardy! champion. His first novel, Prague, a national bestseller, was named a New York Times Notable Book, and received…...read more »

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David Leavitt Responds to Mark Sarvas in Our Book Club

October 20, 2007

Renowned novelist David Leavitt (The Indian Clerk, The Body of Jonah Boyd) doubles as the editor of Subtropics, the literary journal of the University of Florida. In Issue 3, Leavitt included the opening chapter of The Rebels, and I invited him to talk here a little about why he chose it. 1) How did…...read more »

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Mark Sarvas Talks about Fathers and Sons in “The Rebels”

October 13, 2007

Leading a book group discussion on Sándor Márai's The Rebels, one is faced with an interesting dilemma, one to which Arthur Phillips politely alluded to in his excellent New Yorker review. To begin, he told us: Sándor Márai keeps getting younger. Twelve years after he committed…...read more »

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October Book Club—“The Rebels” by Sándor Márai

October 4, 2007

This October, we're delighted to host a new installment in the WWB-Reading the World Book Clubs with a feature on Hungarian author Sándor Márai's The Rebels. Discussion will be headed by Mark Sarvas from The Elegant Variation, with contributions from David Leavitt and others. The Rebels…...read more »

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Teacher’s Forum

June 25, 2007

This forum is for teachers of world literature to exchange ideas on using WWB in the classroom. Tell us your favorite story to teach, activities you've used for teaching literature in translation, post your own syllabi, and/or ask questions of your fellow teachers. This is your forum. We look forward…...read more »

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Translation Talk

June 25, 2007

This forum is for you, our readers interested in translation, practitioners of translation, and others, to ask questions, exchange ideas, and share thoughts on the topic of translation. If you wish to ask our translators a question, please note who your question is for and/or the name of the relevant…...read more »

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Discussions On Translation

June 24, 2007

Words Without Borders presents forums on literature and translation.

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Job Announcements

June 24, 2007

Use this forum to post your job openings, internships and other opportunities for writers, editors and translators.

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Events Calendar

June 24, 2007

Please announce your upcoming events here.

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Words Without Borders Book Groups

June 24, 2007

Tired of the same six titles on display at the store and want some recommendations on what to read next? Looking for a few, cool people to talk about the newest titles from the international scene? If so, join in the Words without Borders book clubs. Each forum will run for a month, so tune in any time…...read more »