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April, 2009

Publishing in Exile, German-language Literature in the U.S. in the 1940s

According to curator Paul North, never in history has there been an event on German publishers exiled by the Third Reich in one show. íOur task tonight is to bring a group of publishers into view,ë North said. íThe right to discourse was taken.ë The panel and show was revelatory,…...

Weekly News Update

Bangladeshi author Selina Hossain, winner of this year's Ekushe Padak award, was interviewed recently for Ariful News: A Voice Against Violence. We published her story "Parul's Motherhood," translated from the Bengali by Shabnam Nadiya. ---------- The most prestigious academic position in English poetry…...

PEN World Voices Festival: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio in Conversation with Adam Gopnik

James Marcus's report on Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio in Conversation with Adam Gopnik at the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center on Friday, April 24th is part of Words Without Borders ongoing coverage of the 2009 PEN World Voices Festival.   Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2008, Jean-Marie…...

Roses and Sunshine and Books, What More Could You Ask For

Sant Jordi is Barcelona's Valentine's Day. Seven million Catalans went out and partied all day and all night. In the streets, on the brick and cobblestone, in lovers' and loved ones' arms. A 24 hour reading of Don Quixote (my kind of celebration!) persevered through the romantic playfulness. The mood…...

Dispatches: Updike on Africa, Part II

My book A Basket of Leaves covers the 54 countries in Africa by way of 99 books, which is barely enough. I had originally planned to include some books that deal with more than one country, like Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth or Water Music by T. Coraghessan Boyle (a wonderful reimagining of Mungo Park's…...

Binhad Nurrohmat in Cirebon

This reading was filmed on the north-central coast of Java in the port city of Cirebon. The film shows Binhad Nurrohmat reading a poem he wrote on a previous visit to the city. The title of the poem is "Dermaga Cirebon": "dermaga" means "pier" or "jetty". The raw footage of the film was screened at a…...

Weekly News Update

In addition to the Penguin Prize for African Writing, a literary award announced today by Penguin South Africa (and featured on Book Case at The Times) that will honor unpublished manuscripts from African authors with a cash award and publication, Nigerian author Chinua Achebe is working with Penguin…...

Teaching in Translation

The general membership meeting of the American Literary Translators Association's annual conference in October of this year went smoothly until the final item of business. The members present were sharply divided over the newly imposed rule stipulating that only books with the translator's name…...

Weekend Reading: Nawal El Saadawi, Lynne Tillman, and more…

This week's weekend reading starts with some pieces from the PEN Website where we've been spending a lot of time recently gearing up for the PEN World Voices Festival. ---------------------- Nawal El Saadawi: How Does the World Change? "They told us that the year 1989 is a crucial year in world history.…...

Weekly News Post

Romanian author Norman Manea won the third Observator Cultural Opera Omnia Award this month from the Observer Translation Project, an international magazine of Romanian literature in translation. See Totalitarianism Today for an in-depth history of Manea and study of his work. Manea was a guest editor…...

Weekend Reading

Where we share some of what we're reading around the net...Enjoy ---------------------- Interview with Daniel Alarcón at La Bloga on the recent Latin American themed issue of Zoetrope: All-Story that he edited along with Diego Trelles Paz: "Alarcón: Latin America has changed a great deal…...

Dispatches: Camus in Oran

What makes you an African writer? That is a subject for another day, and one that's not likely to be resolved anytime soon. One consideration, though, must surely be the ability to convey a sense of place when writing about Africa. Albert Camus was born in Algeria, spent most of his life there, set his…...

The Undergound Aboveground

I am going to try to explain Oulipo. It is a thing which very seriously exists, and perhaps does not yet exist, because you he she they I have not yet exhausted all of its possibilities. If there is one thing I’ve learned this week it is that Oulipians are simultaneously the most serious and un-serious…...

Weekly News Update

The big news today is that Oskar Schindler's list of the 800+ people he saved has been found in a library in Australia, and also that Colombian octogenarian Gabriel García Márquez may not have any publishing plans, but he is indeed writing and has recently deigned to tell the press so.…...

Reading Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann (born in 1975) is the star of German literature. His historical novel Die Vermessung der Welt (published in the US by Vintage as Measuring the World) sold more than 1.4 million copies in Germany alone. The English newspaper The Guardian wrote in an article about Kehlmann: íFor…...

April Book Reviews: Robert Buckeye on Ingo Schulze’s New Lives

This month's issue of Words Without Borders explores the work of writers who will soon gather in New York City for the PEN World Voices Festival. This year's festival explores the theme "how the world changes and how we change" against the backdrop of "landmark anniversaries - Darwin's On the Origin…...

Dispatches: In the Name of God by Yasmina Khadra

The Algerian writer whose pen name is Yasmina Khadra was one of the most intriguing characters at the 2007 PEN World Voices festival. Each time he appeared he would undermine the premise of his own panel, make some barbed comment about a country or its language, or drop a casually sexist remark. But…...

Say No to Metro Confiscation and Trial

Say No to "Metro" Confiscation Last year we published an excerpt from Magdy El Shafee's Metro, an Arabic graphic novel set in Cairo that deals with the financial and social insecurity in Egypt. Shortly after it was published Shafee's novel was confiscated. He and his publisher are on trial for its distribution.…...

Resources for Further Reading (and viewing) on Etgar Keret

As a last post in this month's Etgar Keret discussion, we've included some links below for more information on Etgar Keret, his other projects, and also upcoming events (New Yorkers, check out the Walter Reade Theater and the MoMA this week). As always, you can find a complete list of the posts…...

Finding Keret: Two Israeli Editors Discuss the Author’s Discovery

The two Israeli editors who brought Etgar Keret to national attention met recently to reminisce for the record about their brief but memorable association with him. Hannan Hever and Moshe Ron had a history of collaboration on various editorial and writing ventures going back to the early 1980s. By 1991,…...

March, 2009

An Athenian Story from…the Alexandra Birth Clinic

This is the fifth and final installment in a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants living in Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. Links are available…...

Weekly News Update

The PEN World Voices Festival schedule has been announced. Events begin on April 29th. ---------- The bicentennial mark of Gogol's birth has sparked hundreds of events throughout Russia, according to Moscow News Weekly, including theatre and film adaptations, readings, reopening of the Gogol House Museum,…...

An Athenian Story…from Afghanistan

This is the fourth installment in a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants living in Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. Links are available at…...

Kerouac in French

This past Monday night, the Americas Society featured a discussion of Jack Kerouac as a Franco-American writer. This aspect of Kerouac is well known to readers who have ventured beyond On The Road. His books were intended to make up a Balzacian cohesion (he also referred to Proust), which he called the…...

Weekly News Update

Words Without Borders is co-sponsoring an event taking place this Sunday at the Station Museum in Houston, titled Cultural Narrative: Imran Aslam and hosted by Voices Breaking Boundaries. Aslam is a Pakistani journalist and president of GEO TV. Complete details here. ---------- This year's PEN World…...

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