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December, 2013

Self-translation / Self-destruction

Soon after being co-opted into the Oulipo in 1998, I started to write in French, while also continuing to write in English, and working as an all-around freelance translator (poetry, fiction, IT, marketing, ad campaigns, you name it). I’d only just taken this decisive step in my literary development,…...

Translator Relay: Aron Aji

What is your connection to the language(s) you translate from and/or the place(s) where the books you translate are written? I was born in Turkey and translate from Turkish. Raised in a multilingual family, I am not ever sure which language was my native tongue or—unclearer still—my “mother…...

André Schiffrin, 1932–2013

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,…...

November, 2013

The City and the Writer: In Kingston, Jamaica with Kwame Dawes

Image of The City and the Writer: In Kingston, Jamaica with Kwame Dawes
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…...

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

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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…...

The City and the Writer: In Amsterdam with Abdelkader Benali

Image of The City and the Writer: In Amsterdam with Abdelkader Benali
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  …...

Children’s Books Found in Translation

“Folk Tales and Fairy Tales . . . Outside In: Children’s Writers Found in Translation . . . Win a weekend to see Father Christmas in Lapland! . . .” the promotional flyers for Sian Williams' The Children's Book Show, which first went on tour in 2003, are packed with promise,…...

The Week in Translation

what: Spain's Great Untranslated at the Miami Book Fair International where: Spain's Pavilion, Miami Dade College, 200 Northeast when: Friday, November 22, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/qX5Uu what: Practice the Art of Literary Translation this Summer in the South of France Open to students,…...

In Memoriam: William Weaver

Beloved Italian translator, and Bard College faculty member, William Weaver passed away this week at the age of 90.  In a tribute to her "teacher, mentor, and friend," translator Susan Bernofsky writes: "If you have read any of Bill Weaver’s translations, you don’t need me to tell…...

Feminist Pencils (and Pens)

I’ve just returned from participating in an exciting international exhibition of feminist art: the "Feminist Pencil—2" exhibition at ArtPlay Center in Moscow.  Curated and moderated by artist Victoria Lomasko of Moscow and Serpuchov, known for her book, Forbidden Art,…...

The Perpetual Émigré: An Interview with Ilija Trojanow

Image of The Perpetual Émigré: An Interview with Ilija Trojanow
My interview with Ilija Trojanow took place under ominous circumstances. I was hoping to meet him in person; the United States federal government had other plans. As Trojanow tried to board a flight from Brazil to Denver, where he was slated to participate in an academic conference, he was pulled…...

The Week in Translation

what: Surveillance and the Naked New World: Ilija Trojanow in conversation with Liesl Schillinger and Suzanne Nossel where: Goethe-Institut New York/72 Spring Street, 11th Floor/New York, NY 10012 when: Wednesday, November 13, 6:30-8:30pm more info: http://ow.ly/qEWBz what: New Literature from…...

The Week in Translation

what: Singapore Writers Festival when: November 1-10 more info: http://ow.ly/qtjvI what: The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word  when: November 4-9 more info: http://ow.ly/qtjF5 what: Four Voices, Two Stories Join authors Gon Ben Ari (The Sequoia Children) and Ernesto Semán (A…...

The City and the Writer: In Porto with Rosa Alice Branco

Image of The City and the Writer: In Porto with Rosa Alice Branco
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 of Porto as you feel/see it? Every time I describe my feelings…...

October, 2013

Celebrating WWB and Drenka Willen: Our Tenth Anniversary Gala

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…...

Dispatch from the 2013 ALTA Conference

On Friday, October 18th, the second day of the 2013 American Literary Translators Association Conference at Indiana University in Bloomington,  keynote speaker Cole Swensen spoke about translating the word “friendship.” She presented the origins and roots of the word in different languages,…...

The City and the Writer: In Baltimore with Mary Jo Salter

Image of The City and the Writer: In Baltimore with Mary Jo Salter
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.                              …...

From the Translator: On Flowers and Maps

Mark Twain once joked that God created war so Americans could learn geography. Luckily for us, humanity countered with a solution of its own: translation. I believe most Americans, upon hearing the word “Moldova,” tend to think of a particularly nasty type of fungus that grows in the interspaces…...

The Week in Translation

Festival de la Palabra Oct 16 events Lehman College: 250 Bedford Park Blvd W (4 train to Bedford Park Blvd/Lehman College); Carmen Hall 224  6:00pm −8:40pm in Carmen Hall 224: Encuentro de estudiantes de “Literature of the Caribbean”, con Juan Carlos Méndez…...

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

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…...

This novel is smoking

Image of This novel is smoking
The Museum of Innocence, translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely, was the first novel published by Orhan Pamuk after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. A memory novel of more than 500 pages, it takes the reader back to the Istanbul of Pamuk’s youth, and belies the common belief…...

The Week in Translation

Festival de la Palabra Oct 16 events Lehman College: 250 Bedford Park Blvd W (4 train to Bedford Park Blvd/Lehman College); Carmen Hall 224  6:00pm −8:40pm in Carmen Hall 224: Encuentro de estudiantes de “Literature of the Caribbean”, con Juan Carlos Méndez…...

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature: Down to the Wire

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…...

The City and the Writer: In Santiago de Compostela, Galicia with Yolanda Castaño

Image of The City and the Writer: In Santiago de Compostela, Galicia with Yolanda Castaño
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.                              …...

Join WWB for its Tenth Anniversary Gala

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…...

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