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November, 2009

Today in International Lit

Nabokov Screaming his Head Off The new online newspaper The Faster Times was linked by the New Yorker yesterday for their take on the new Nabokov publication, the unfinished novel The Origin of Laura. They also link to the 92nd Street Y's recording of Nabokov reading selections from Pale Fire and…...

Triptych Reading Series

If you are in New York City, you must, you absolutely must, attend the Triptych Reading Series. Curated by Iranian-born translator and poet Kaveh Bassiri and poet Mary Austin Speaker, the reading series brings everyone from Mark Strand to Charles Wright (this week), and next month will feature John Ashbery.…...

From the Magazine

“My bag in the back of the truck, the Antarctica bottles open, and we’re off.” So begins our excerpt of Ross Benjamin’s translation of Thomas Pletzinger’s novel Bestattung eines Hundes (2008), forthcoming from W. W. Norton as Funeral for a Dog. This is the kind of writing…...

Dispatches: Under the Volcano

November 2, the Day of the Dead in Mexico, marked the 70th anniversary of the day on which Malcolm Lowry’s masterpiece Under the Volcano begins. In honor of that anniversary I began rereading it, but first I reread the letter that Lowry wrote to Jonathan Cape, his publisher, after hearing that…...

Today in International Lit

Why we Read Bolaño Horacio Castellanos Moya's, "Bolaño Inc." for the November Guernica, is a further effort to debunk our romanticized construction of the decade's literary star. Moya is one of our authors, so we have to forgive him if he overlooked some of the more thoughtful criticism…...

Polish Poetry Now

Last week, the Polish Cultural Institute presented a two-part symposium at Poets House that sought to address questions on the nature and identity of Polish poets working today. The program began Tuesday with a panel discussion, and culminated with readings by each of the four participating poets on…...

South Africa: A Traveler’s Literary Companion

Based in Berkeley, California, Whereabouts Press publishes an intriguing series of Traveler's Literary Companions. "Unlike guidebooks written by professional travel writers," they explain, "our books feature stories written by literary writers -- all of whom who have lived in the places they write…...

Today in International Lit

WWB in the New Yorker The November issue of Words Without Borders, with new translations from Germany, has just gone live and is met with praise today from the New Yorker's Book Bench blog with a piece that focuses on contributor Feridun Zaimoğlu, who, along with fellow German-Turkish contributor…...

CLMP Spelling Bee

My agent sent me an invitation to a fundraiser. I was in town, so I had no excuse not to go. Besides that, I'm in generally in favor of fundraisers. I would happily go to a fundraiser in support of better living conditions for milk cows in the Midwest, but I would be equally supportive if some organization…...

October, 2009

From the Magazine

Before we launch the November issue, we'd like to highlight Abdourahman Waberi's wonderful piece of reportage on Rwanda, fifteen years after the genocide, "Rawanda: The Flame of Hope." Waberi was born in Djibouti and also writes fiction and poetry. He was a juror for the Lettre Ulysses Prize…...

Three Kilos of Coffee

Manu Dibango is a jazz saxophonist with an international reputation. His song “Soul Makossa” is sometimes credited with being the first disco tune. Dibango was born in Cameroon in 1933. At the age of fifteen he left the country for a boarding school in France. His father gave him a small…...

Today in International Lit

Spain's Prince of Asturias Awards Cultural exchange continues in Europe among prestigious prize-givers, with Albanian writer Ismail Kadaré cinching the Prince of Asurias Award for literature. The awards are in eight categories, and according to Euro News they are the Spanish equivalent of…...

Brown Turtle Press

Recently I blogged about Bending the Bow, a surprising and engaging new anthology of African love poetry edited by Malawian poet and professor Frank Chipasula. Since then I’ve learned that Chipasula is also the founder of Brown Turtle Press, whose motto is “Slow But Determined” and…...

From the Magazine

This week, we're highlighting contemporary Austrian critic and essayist Karl-Markus Gauss's meditation on perception and control, "Wie das Chaos nach Salzburg kam," ("When Chaos Came to Salzburg," translated from the German by John K. Cox). The piece is from the 2004 collection of essays Der…...

Today in International Lit

Upcoming Events: Inca Garcilaso de la Vega's Legacy America's Society Friday, October 23 7:00 pm Free admission As a follow-up to the Fall 2009 symposium marking the 400th anniversary of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega's Royal Commentaries (part one), a group of celebrated Peruvian prose writers…...

The fun of de Nerval’s The Salt Smugglers

"This is not a novel," wrote Diderot repeatedly, in his Quixotic, polyphonic Jacques the Fatalist and his Master. You could say he was ripping off Sterne, who ripped off Rabelais in the grand tradition of Swift; you could even go as far back as Homer, as Gérard de Nerval suggests in the ingenious…...

Podcasts of Kapuściński panel at NBCC

The National Book Critics Circle's blog, Critical Mass, is featuring a three-part series of podcasts and videos to cover the complete symposium held last week at NYU: After Kapuściński: The Art of Reportage in the 21st Century. Co-sponsoring the event were the NBCC, Words Without Borders, The Polish…...

film icon Poeboes Podcast: Aamer Hussein

This month, Andre Naffis brings us the third installment in his Poeboes series of podcasts for the WWB blog. In his latest dispatch. Andre speaks to writer Aamir Hussein. Aamer Hussein (1955– ), was born in Karachi, Pakistan and moved to London at the age of 15. He writes short stories and novellas,…...

Chain of Voices

Although André Brink is one of South Africa’s leading Afrikaans-language writers, and although his work has appeared in English, at least one article has questioned whether we can categorize those works as African literature in translation. By his own admission Brink remains, in essence,…...

From the Magazine

This week, we are highlighting an excerpt from Towers of Stone, by Wojciech Jagielski, translated from the Polish by Soren Gauger. The book is forthcoming this month from Seven Stories Press, and is a closely-told narrative that seeks to explain the wars in Chechnya through two men. The section we've…...

Today in International Lit

The Nobel Prize With the announcement of Herta Müller as Nobel Prize winner for literature comes the continued sense that the Nobel committee is challenging the English-speaking world to be more aware of what is happening in Europe. Friday's Guardian piece responded positively, while Lev Grossman,…...

Dispatches: African Memoirs

Dear reader: I need your help. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of African memoirs: books like Echoes of an Autobiography by Naguib Mahfouz, An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar by Emily Ruete, and Return to Childhood by Leila Abouzeid.…...

From the Magazine

This week, we are highlighting an excerpt from journalist-cum-fiction writer Peter Fröberg Idling's Pol Pots leende (Pol Pot's Smile), translated from the Swedish by Silvester Mazzarella First published in Sweden by Atlas in 2006, Peter Fröberg Idling's debut was highly praised for originality…...

The Author’s Voice and the Translator’s

Recently, I traveled to Paris to assist my publisher there with the promotion of one of my novels that had been translated into French. Any excuse to visit Paris is a good excuse. It's easy to forget the hardship of the publicist. The publicist has to promote books that other people decided were…...

Today in International Lit

Kafka in New York Last week, the New York M.T.A. unveiled a new quote for their Train of Thought series, with the first line from Kafka's "The Metamorphosis." The New Yorker suggests that perhaps the transit authority is moving "from the inspirational to the inspired." It is a rather strange message…...

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