Archives

April, 2010

I Come From There: New Plays from the Arab World at PEN World Voices Festival

At the Martin E. Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center yesterday afternoon, readings of two works by young playwrights—presented by the British Council and London’s Royal Court Theatre, with support from the Sundance Institute Theater Program—explored notions of home. In Withdrawal…...

The Ears of the Hippopotamus

Astrid Lindgren is perhaps best known for Pippi Longstocking, her children’s classic, but she created many other fine characters, too, including “The Brothers Lionheart.” One of the feature characters in that adventure is a dragon named Katla, whom Lindgren named after a certain Icelandic…...

Wolff Prize to Ross Benjamin

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…...

Interview with Etgar Keret

Image of Interview with Etgar Keret
The interview was conducted at the AWP Annual Conference on Saturday, April 10, 2010 in Denver, where Keret was one of the main featured presenters. On Friday night, April 9, Keret read together with George Saunders in front of an audience of about 1,500 people. On Saturday night, the Denver Starz Film…...

Shohreh Aghdashloo reads from The Ecco Anthology of Int’l Poetry

Image of Shohreh Aghdashloo reads from The Ecco Anthology of Int’l Poetry
On April 19, supporters of Words Without Borders had the rare opportunity to hear the Iranian actor Shohreh Aghdashloo read a selection of poems from the new Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. The event was held in the book-lined Reading Room of the Center for Fiction on 47th Street. Aghdashloo,…...

Musings of a Terminal Speaker

The death of a language is rarely sudden: it is usually an unremarkable process of decline as a community gradually changes its linguistic allegiance, dropping an ancient mother-tongue for a stronger and more relevant language.  Why insist on speaking words that are understood in only a few villages…...

film icon On Yuri Rytkheu’s “Magic Numbers”

Yuri Rytkheu (1930-2008) is generally considered to be the most significant Russian author of the twentieth century with an indigenous heritage. He came from the Chukchi tribe of Siberia, and his works mostly deal with the unique ecological and cultural wisdom of these Arctic people and how their identity…...

AWP Report: Trends in South Asian Diaspora Writing

I was at the AWP conference in Denver this past weekend to give a reading and sign some chapbooks. The mood was cheery, the elevation high, the Colorado Rocky mountains (which I had never seen in person before) were glorious and the background chatter pleasant. I thought what would be a better panel…...

“Purge” by Sofi Oksanen

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Aliide Truu, the warped murderess and tragic victim at the center of Sofi Oksansen’s astoundingly ambitious novel Purge, is an elderly woman when we meet her in the opening chapter. Living alone in the Estonian countryside in 1992, she has recently witnessed her nation’s liberation from Soviet…...

Fanfare for Farm 54

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…...

Ben Okri at PEN World Voices

Image of Ben Okri at PEN World Voices
African authors are few and far between at this year's PEN World Voices Festival -- but the festival does offer a rare opportunity to hear Ben Okri, the Nigerian-born author of The Famished Road, which won the Booker Prize in 1991. Years ago I had the chance to hear Okri at MIT. He was a captivating…...

News from the Paris Book Fair

The Paris Book Fair (March 26-31, 2010) celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. The organizers invited 90 writers for the occasion, (60 of them from France and 30 from all over the world) to discuss the topic "Telling the World." Among the discussions were "Writers Exploring an Unknown Land"…...

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