Archives

July, 2009

Romanian Literature is Hot: Filip Florian’s “Little Fingers”

Filip Florian, Michael ScammellWhere did the New York Times Book Review decide to publish its very first foreign-language edition? In Romania, of course. Of course? Yes! Writing about the Review, Jennifer Schuessler quotes the Times' film critic A.O. Scott saying íRomania is one of those countries…...

International Literary News

At least two anthologies featuring contemporary German literature will be out this year. In discussing them, Lizzie's Literary Life notes the "boom" in post-reunification German literature. Berlin Tales, translated by Lyn Marven and out this month from Oxford University Press, features 17 stories, mostly…...

Translation and the Teaching of Literature

In my first post, I suggested that translators' efforts in the sphere of education might have a transformative effect on the understanding and appreciation of the work of translation. In my second, I focused on the domain of foreign language teaching as one place where such efforts might bear fruit.…...

Alane Mason on Publishing Literature in Translation

At the "Big Think", Alane Salierno Mason, a founder of Words Without Borders talks about Words Without Borders and the challenges of publishing literature in translation. View it here.

Weekend Reading

I've recently begun reading Eduardo Galeano's beautiful Mirrors, which is one of those books that defy categories as well as time. Instead of one long narrative, the book is full of short myth-like tales with titles like "Voice of Wine" and "When Ships Navigated by Land." I find that I like to read just…...

Fight For Your Independents: Archipelago Books

Archipelago books is a non-profit publisher that has brought into English 50 books so far from 21 languages. I think Jill Schoolman, Archipelago's founder, puts it best when she describes their mission: "We are striving to locate, support, and preserve literary talent worldwide and allow it to enter…...

Looking for Something to Read?

Then head over to the Three Percent blog and see what the Best Translated Book Award panelists are reading. I think this constitutes something like a pre-long-list list, so get in on the action early. Click here.

Call for Submissions: two lines World Writing in Translation

This is great news - the next volume of two lines will be edited by Natasha Wimmer and Jeffrey Yang. Natasha Wimmer of course translated Roberto Bolaño's monumental 2666 and The Savage Detectives, and Jeffrey Yang is an editor at New Directions, a translator and poet whose most recent book, An…...

The Reckoning

I want to take a moment to let you know about a project that I've been involved with that I believe is important and that you might find of interest. I bring it up now because the film that this project surrounds will be aired tonight in the US on PBS's POV program. Click this link to find your local…...

International Literary News

Finnish-born Swedish author Willy Kyrklund passed away last month at 88. As Notes from the North put it in their philosophical discussion of Kyrklund's oeuvre, Kyrklund was "often called an existentialist, [though] his thought reaches beyond disorientation and existence into essence.... Kyrklund notes…...

Soviet Mammoth: Vasily Aksyonov, 1932–2009

Even in his late seventies, the Russian writer Vasily Aksyonov played tennis, jogged, smoked like a chimney, listened to jazz, dressed with a certain bohemian flavor, flirted with women, divided his life between sunny Biarritz and snobbish Moscow, and drove a car. It was in the car that he had a stroke,…...

Weekend Reading

The Brooklyn Rail's Jed Lipinski interviews translator Susan Bernofsky Rail: As a fiction writer, have your translations had any effect on your writing style? Bernofsky: Walser has such a strong, idiosyncratic style that I actually think he's somewhat dangerous as an influence. If you wind up imitating—rather…...

The Wall in My Head

This is very exciting. Words Without Borders' next book is being published by Open Letter Books this fall and is available for pre-order now. What's more, there will be a "The Wall in My Head Blog" at... www.thewallinmyhead.com. Here's Rohan's first post from the blog, which will also serve to give you…...

Return to Childhood by Leila Abouzeid

Return to Childhood is a memoir by the Moroccan writer Leila Abouzeid, who is better known for her story collection Year of the Elephant. Translated from the Arabic by the author and Heather Logan Taylor, Return to Childhood is interesting not only for its account of Abouzeid's own feelings and impressions,…...

International Literary News

Mexican poet and historian Miguel León-Portilla was honored by the Teotihuacan Archaeological Zone on the 50th anniversary of his volume Viewpoint of the Defeated. Explaining his project of compiling ancient Nahuati (Aztec) texts, he stated: íThe conquest is a delicate theme for Mexicans,…...

Embedded in Dutch Suburbia

Suburbia is a mythical place. At least, it is if you believe quite a few novels, ranging from Updike's Couples to Yates' Revolutionary Road. And one could argue that Madame Bovary takes place in a village that is just suburbia's predecessor. Suburbia appears to be place where middle class morality is…...

Susan Harris on “Radio Without Borders”

Jean Feraca of Wisconsin Public Radio's "Here on Earth" program (subtitled, coincidentally, "Radio Without Borders") chats with our own Susan Harris about Words Without Borders, summer reading and some of the stories we've published, including Zhao Ying's "Red Bean Sticky Cakes and Running", Behnam Dayani's…...

Memories of June 4

I've read Wang Dan's book Prison Memoir and it is great that Words Without Borders featured part of the book in its current issue. The chapter has triggered some of my past memories. Like Wang Dan, I was also locked up in China's Qincheng prison. It's hard to believe that twenty years have passed. Since…...

The Observer Translation Project Roundtable

The Observer Translation Project just posted a roundtable discussion on our favorite topic, including our very own Susan Harris along with Chad Post of the Three Percent blog and Open Letter publishers, as well as translator Susan Bernofsky whose translation of Yoko Tawada's The Naked Eye I just read…...

June, 2009

International Literary News

This Friday, the writers shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing will read from their nominated short stories at the Royal Over-Seas League in London at 7pm, as part of a lead-up to the winner announcement later in July. The writers will also read at the London Literature Festival at the…...

French Reading Series at Cornelia Street Cafe

Cornelia Street Cafe is a restaurant in the West Village of New York City that has historically been a venue for incredible works of literature to be shared. The walls are blue and lined with mirrors and there’s an old upright piano on the stage. I’ve had the opportunity to read fiction twice…...

 Weekend Reading: Laundry

At the week's end, here's hope that attention will continue in the English-language world for Israeli novelist Suzane Adam. She has published four books since 2000 and won the Kugel Prize in 2006 and the Prime Minister's Prize in 2007, but only her first novel, Kvisa (Laundry), has been translated. Laundry…...

Review: “A Girl Made of Dust” by Nathalie Abi-Ezzi

Writing literary fiction with a child's point-of-view is not a job for the faint-hearted; to construct a compelling narrative with only a linguistically-limited and innocent voice as a conduit is a daunting challenge, one which few novelists have taken up and still fewer pulled off successfully. Yet…...

Books in Lahore’s Horror Movie Joint

The Last Word is a bookshop in Lahore's Gadhafi Stadium. You won't spot a sign for the store on the stadium's perimeter, because the shop's bookshelves are inside a popular Pakistani cafe chain, The Hot Spot. It's the spot where I'd go when I wanted to be by myself in Lahore.…...

International Literary News

The Khaleej Times reported today on the announcement this week of the participants in the second annual Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature (EAIFL), to be held next March in Dubai. Among the international participants are Martin Amis, Mark Billingham, Tim Butcher, Christopher Cleave,…...

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