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March, 2009

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…...

Dispatches: Season of Migration to the North

In a recent post I wrote about the passing of Tayeb Salih, author of Season of Migration to the North. Here's what I wrote about that book in A Basket of Leaves: Season of Migration to the North is a brief, graceful, and powerful novel about the collision of cultures, and the destructive potential of…...

On the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlist

Real food to enrich the intellect and the soul, or fast food publishing: which will survive in hard times? As the economic downturn hits home it makes sense to publish fewer, well-written books rather than splash out the cash on the latest "sensational" celebrity memoir. Clever companies perceive not…...

Weekly News Update

Thursday: A Celebration of the International Graphic Novel Please join us this Thursday in DUMBO at Melville House Publishers, 7pm. We'll have drinks, music, and our favorite graphic novel artwork adorning the walls, including work from Charles Berberian (Iraq and France), Philippe Dupuy (France), Miriam…...

“We’re All Overgrown Adolescents”—Miriam Schlesinger and Philip Lopate talk about Etgar Keret

Last Thursday's Keret event at Idlewild was a hoot. Miriam Shlesinger's discussion about translating Keret's use of slang, though she is over twenty years his senior, (Keret is 42), was hilarious. "I cannot tell you how long I spent trying to decide between the word “chicks” versus…...

Photos from our “Conversations on Great Contemporary Literature” Discussion Series

You know Words Without Borders knows no boundaries so it should come as no surprise that we're on Flickr as well as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Here's a Flickr slideshow from some of our latest Conversations on Great Contemporary Literature series: *** Links to other essays, interviews and features…...

Reading Keret: Front-line of the Hyper-real

In his first blog post for our online book club on Etgar Keret's Girl on the Fridge, Adam Rovner discusses the hyper-real in Keret's story "The Night the Buses Died." We hope you'll read this and the other essays in the series and join in with your comments.—Editors Keret's "The…...

film icon Words Without Borders Video: Edith Grossman on Don Quixote as Tragedy and Comedy

Here's a clip from our last Conversations on Great Contemporary Literature with Edith Grossman discussing Don Quixote as Tragedy and Comedy. There are more videos from this event at our Words Without Borders Youtube Channel. And be sure to check out our next event in the Conversations on Great Contemporary…...

Etgar Keret in Context

In conjunction with our live Etgar Keret discussion on March 5th at the Idlewild bookstore in New York, Adam Rovner, writer, scholar and translations editor of Zeek, will be moderating an online discussion on Etgar Keret's Girl on the Fridge. Adam will be posting weekly about reading The Girl on…...

Recent Festival of Conversations between French and America Authors—Part II

Continuation from yesterday's coverage on the Festival of New French Writing . ---------- The second panel I heard at the festival, held this past weekend at NYU, featured David Foenkinos and Stefan Merrill Block and was moderated by translator and former Seven Stories editor Violaine Huisman. The conversation…...

Weekly News Update

Starting tomorrow night: The Sound of Literature: New voices from Austria, Germany, and the United States. A series of conversations and readings with the authors, moderated by Klaus Nüchtern. Tomorrow night's program features Justin Courter, Benjamin Lebert, Tao Lin, and Verena Rossbacher, and…...

Dispatches: On the 100th Issue of Transition magazine

The 100th issue of Transition magazine just arrived in my mailbox: a milestone I wasn't sure it would reach. From the time of its revival in 1991 until now, Transition has been an essential resource for readers interested in the culture of Africa and the African diaspora. If you can read and support…...

Recent Festival of Conversations between French and American Authors

The Festival of New French Writing, held from last Thursday through Saturday at NYU's Vanderbilt Hall, and presented by the French-American Cultural Exchange, was a remarkable series of programs that we wish we could have covered more thoroughly. Thursday night involved conversations between Olivier…...

Letter from Iraq

The young captain sat on his bed and sighed. íThere are not too many people around here I can talk with,ë he said. íAll the young guys talk about is women and fighting.ë This is my second trip to Iraq. Part of the trip is an embed with the 25th infantry division of the 1st brigade,…...

February, 2009

Dispatches: Aya by Marguerite Abouet

Aya, written by Marguerite Abouet and illustrated by the French artist Clément Oubrerie, is a lively and colorful glimpse of life in Ivory Coast in the late 1970s, a time when the country was enjoying unprecedented prosperity and the capital Abidjan was earning its title as the Paris of Africa.…...

My Nimrod Flipout

  I remember the first time I came across Etgar Keret, and that I threw the book across the room. I had been beat to the punch. This marvel, this oracle, this as we say in Yiddish, this “meshuga” mind had figured out how to hybrid what felt to me a mix of Irvine Welsh, Amy Hempel, Kafka,…...

Weekly News Update

Our March installment of the Conversations on Great Contemporary Literature series will feature the work of Israeli author Etgar Keret. We'll be hosting an online book club and are looking for readers to tell us their favorite Etgar Keret story (send submissions to [email protected]). The…...

Tayeb Salih 1929–2009

Tayeb Salih was the most eminent writer from the largest country in Africa, yet as Leonard Lopate pointed out last year on a radio program called Underappreciated, his work was barely known in the U.S. He died in London around dawn on February 18, after suffering from a kidney ailment. He was said to…...

Three-week Arabic Arts Festival at Kennedy Center

Tomorrow, February 23rd, marks the beginning of a massive three-week festival of Arabic arts and culture at the Kennedy Center in D.C., titled Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World. This will, by far, be the largest Arabic festival ever held on U.S. shores. Aside from music, dance and film, and in the midst…...

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