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April, 2009

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…...

Reading Keret: Translating the Funhouse

"Hat Trick" first appeared in Missing Kissinger (1994), and has since proved one of Etgar Keret's most popular stories. In 1998, artist Batia Kolton of the Actus Tragicus comics collective adapted the story into a graphic and disturbing tale. You can find it in English as "HaTrick" in Jetlag: Five…...

My Favorite Etgar Keret Story: A Brief Appreciation

When I saw Etgar Keret at the PEN World Voices Festival last year I was disappointed because he chose to read “Hat Trick,” a story that is as unsettling in its implications as it is gruesome. The reason for my dismay, besides the squirminess that story makes me feel, was that the brutality…...

An Athenian Story…from Vietnam

This is the third installment of 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 the…...

Saying Big Things: The Art of Etgar Keret

In the latest dispatch for our Etgar Keret discussion, Todd Hasak-Lowy, author of Captives and The Task of this Translator, talks about Keret and the art of saying big things —Editors Etgar Keret says very big things about very small worlds. There is an irony in this, because to say big things,…...

An Athenian Story…from Iran

This is the second installment of 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…...

Ananda Devi on Language, Literature and Identity at fi:af

Last night, Mauritian author Ananda Devi spoke to a packed room in the French Institute's Skyroom in Manhattan, as part of a U.S. tour sponsored by the Délégation générale de l'Alliance Française and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Her talk was moderated…...

On Kaspar Hauser

A piece in this month's issue of WWB, by the Greek writer Dimitris Chatzis, compared the plight of the immigrant to the legend of Kaspar Hauser. For those who haven't heard of Kaspar, a brief intro: in 1828, a boy of sixteen years was discovered walking down the road in Nuremberg, Germany. He carried…...

Judges for Man Booker International Prize Announce Finalists

The judges for the 2009 Man Booker International Prize announced their shortlist this morning, in a press conference at The Humanities and Social Science Library on 42nd St. Ukranian writer Andrey Kurkov, one of the three judges, was asked by an audience member if he was interested specifically in championing…...

Weekly News Update

Keret in Chicago and Boston: Keret will close Columbia College's annual Story Week festival with a discussion on March 20 at the Hokin Annex in the Wabash Campus Building, 623 S. Wabash Ave. More information about the festival in the Columbia Chronicle. This Is One Story You've Got to Hear!: An Evening…...

Brutal Banality in Keret’s “An Exclusive”

At nearly nine pages, "An Exclusive" is the lengthiest story in Etgar Keret's Girl on the Fridge. Perhaps because it's the longest, it's one of my favorites. Keret is known as a stylist of economy, of idiom, and of the manipulation of powerful cultural allusion. "An Exclusive" demonstrates…...

film icon Words Without Borders Video: Miriam Schlesinger and Philip Lopate discuss Etgar Keret

Here's part one of a video with Miriam Schlesinger and Philip Lopate discussing Etgar Keret as part of our Conversations on Great Contemporary Literature Series. Links to other posts in our Girl on the Fridge discussion: Keret events this March in Boston and Chicago. Adam Rovner puts Etgar Keret…...

An Athenian Story…from Nigeria

As part of our Greek offerings this month, we're featuring a number of pieces written by Gazmand Kapllani, an extract from whose Short Border Handbook is available on WWB. The pieces all deal with the immigrant experience in today's Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. I started…...

Oulipo In New York: A Workshop Of Experimental Literature

The French Embassy in New York is sponsoring "Oulipo In New York: A Workshop Of Experimental Literature" from April 1st through the 4th in locations around the city. The Oulipo, Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle, is a collective of writers and mathematicians founded in 1960 by François…...

Words Without Borders and the Idea of Indonesian Literature

I want to explore how the idea of "words without borders" might relate to the concept of "Indonesian literature." "Borders" can be political, cultural, social and perhaps, practical. A border is a construct, rather than something natural and self-evident. They are expressed politically and through culture…...

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