Archives

June, 2013

Christopher Bram Reads at the Launch of WWB’s Fourth Annual Queer Issue

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On Wednesday June 19, Christopher Bram hosted the launch event for the fourth annual queer issue of Words without Borders. We're sharing his comments on the issue, on queer literature, and on translation for those readers who weren't able to join us for the event. —Editors  It's…...

Dispatches from the 2013 Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair

The Literary Translation Centre, now in its fourth year, held sessions at the London Book Fair (April 15-17) on topics ranging from translating culture in times of conflict to logistical issues like how to become a literary translator and what publishers want. Words Without Borders' own Susan Harris…...

Sleepless

I've been sleepless for days. Like countless people. Like countless animals. Like the trees and the birds. We're all dazed by the strange turn of events in Turkey. The children who grew up scared of any uniform, police or military, have now finally reached adulthood, and now protest day and night,…...

Sweet Days of June, Sweet Days of Uprising

As I write these words, unarmed protestors in and around Taksim Square are under relentless police attack. Not only in Taksim, either. People throng the streets all over the country: Ankara, Izmir, Tunceli, Hatay, and many, many more cities. People who’ve had it with government oppression. Whose…...

Crossing Language Boundaries in Palestine’s Emerging-Writer Workshops

PalFest – the Palestine Festival of Literature – took place this year in the last week of May. It was the festival’s sixth year and, as in other years, it flew in more than a dozen artists and writers to travel with the increasingly elaborate festival. For the first time, there were…...

The City and the Writer: In Kathmandu with Rabi Thapa

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Special City Series / Kathmandu, Nepal 2013 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.  —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities   Can you describe the mood…...

The Week in Translation

Lorca in New York: A Celebration: the largest-ever festival in North America celebrating the work of acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. With more than two dozen events throughout Manhattan, it focuses on the brief but prolific period (1929-1930), during which Lorca came…...

From the Archive: Girls, and Women

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…...

The Week in Translation

Lorca in New York: A Celebration: the largest-ever festival in North America celebrating the work of acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. With more than two dozen events throughout Manhattan, it focuses on the brief but prolific period (1929-1930), during which Lorca came…...

May, 2013

Translator Relay: Alfred Birnbaum

Our "Translator Relay" series features a new interview each month. This month's translator will choose the next interviewee, adding a different, sixth question. Stephen Snyder passed the baton to freelance translator and cultural critic Alfred Birnbaum. In addition to many of Haruki Murakami's…...

Exploring Unfamiliar Territory: Translating “Poor Grandpa”

For decades I stubbornly refused to translate my own work into English.  For most of my life, I lived and worked in East Africa, the cradle of the Swahili language, so I didn’t realize how little of Swahili literature was read outside the region. I have since realized the need to share the…...

The City and the Writer: In Kathmandu with Manjushree Thapa

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Special City Series/ Kathmandu, Nepal 2013 By Nathalie Handal If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                  …...

Submit to Asymptote’s “Close Approximations: A Translation Contest”

what: Asymptote Journal's Inaugural "Close Approximations: A Translation Contest" contest judges: Eliot Weinberger (Poetry) and Howard Goldblatt (Fiction) prize: $1,000 for 5-10 pages of poetry translated into English, or up to 25 pages of fiction translated into English submission deadline: September…...

Reclaiming North Korean Literature

Engaging with ancient literature has its difficulties. Even if we put aside the unfamiliar details of cultural context, there remain factors such as genre, function, and form that can be daunting for the modern reader. The didactic genre is currently out of fashion (Vergil's bee-keeping manual…...

The Week in Translation

GO Lorca in New York: A Celebration: the largest-ever festival in North America celebrating the work of acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. With more than two dozen events throughout Manhattan, it focuses on the brief but prolific period (1929-1930), during which Lorca…...

Where Are the Women in Translation?

I’ve never been good at math, or maybe I should say, I never liked math enough to be good at it, even if I did get the odd A in the subject in high school. So I don’t have a clue how to divide 3% by 26%, for example. I searched on the Internet, and found calculators that were very handy for…...

The Week in Translation

Lorca in New York: A Celebration: the largest-ever festival in North America celebrating the work of acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. With more than two dozen events throughout Manhattan, it focuses on the brief but prolific period (1929-1930), during which Lorca came…...

From the Archives: Exiles

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…...

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: Palestinian Writers in Conversation

The decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict has yielded many harrowing developments, but none, arguably, more absurd than the un-improvable bit of legal coinage that deemed a portion of Israel’s Palestinian residents as present absentees. The term applies to tens of thousands of…...

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: “Bones will Crow”

To celebrate the publication of Bones Will Crow, an anthology of Burmese poetry, poets Zeyar Lynn, Khin Aung Aye and James Byrne joined Philip Howze for a conversation and reading at The Public Theater on May 5. Mr. Lynn and Mr. Aung Aye began by reading from their work in Burmese and English (Mr. Byrne…...

The Week in Translation

Lorca in New York: A Celebration: the largest-ever festival in North America celebrating the work of acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. With more than two dozen events throughout Manhattan, it focuses on the brief but prolific period (1929-1930), during which Lorca came…...

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: The Translation Slam

The Translation Slam has become a popular tradition in the PEN World Voices Festival, and this year’s event saw a full house at The Public Theater on Friday evening. For years it was held at the Bowery Poetry Club, which lamentably closed this past week. Host Michael F. Moore was clearly dismayed…...

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: South Africa in Two Acts

Siphiwo Mahala set the stage for this engaging discussion of South African literature and media at the Cooper Union on Saturday with an opening brief on the political state of the country, focusing on freedom of speech rights.  The looming issue is a bill, already passed by both chambers of Congress,…...

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: Haiti in Two Acts

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When an earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, among the 300,000 killed were Georges Anglade, the president of PEN Haiti, and his wife Mireille Neptune. Today novelist Jean-Euphèle Milcé and poet and novelist Emmélie Prophète, his wife, serve as president and vice president.…...

PEN World Voices Festival: Master Class with Eduardo Galeano

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"I learned the art of writing and the art of storytelling in the cafés of Montevideo," said the great and loved Eduardo Galeano during his hour-long conversation with Jessica Hagedorn Saturday night. It was as though all 500 of us at the filled-to-capacity auditorium at the New School were transported…...

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