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March, 2009

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),…...

“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”…...

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…...

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…...

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…...

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,…...

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, Grecian…...

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 .(JavaScript must be enabled…...

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…...

Awards Recognize Excellence For Books in Translation

It’s interesting, in the backstretch of the book awards season, to consider a book’s merit in multiple phases. There’s the book itself, as created by the author and chosen by the publisher, and then there’s the translation, which gives the book new life and additional criteria…...

Keret Contest: What’s your favorite Etgar Keret Story?

If you've read Etgar Keret's stories you know they're as addicting as they are short. You probably find yourself retelling or even reading them to your friends. Well how about sharing your favorite Keret story with us? Send the name of your favorite story to .(JavaScript must be enabled to…...

Dispatches: Merely Literary?

At The Reading Experience this past December, Dan Green defended the way in which he reads to analyze literature for its aesthetic aspects and “to open up the text in order to make its palpable qualities more accessible.” His declaration is clear and forthright: The formal and stylistic accomplishments…...

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part III)

In manga translation, the English rendition of the original Japanese has to fit back into a bubble, and the spatial constraints can be formidable given that one language reads top-down and the other left-right. Not only the bubble’s size but its shape comes into play, favoring the use of shorter…...

Weekly News Update

Angel Wagenstein’s fiction is presented as a new approach to Jewish storytelling in an essay published in this weeks Nation. Issac’s Torch, published in English last year by Elizabeth Frank and Deliana Simeonova, íoffers much of the same absurdist (and seemingly arbitrary) historical…...

“With me, those who seem to be the last come first.”: Meira Eliot on Bohumil Hrabal

Walking into the rather cramped room, you will see among other items on the heavy desk, a much used Consul typewriter, an opened, slightly crumpled pack of cheap cigarettes, a couple of pencils, a coffee mug, and an opened hardback book. Behind the desk in the simply furnished room, on bare floorboards,…...

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part II)

The Japanese language employs a mixture of phonetic scripts and ideograms. These latter, the Chinese or kanji characters, invariably take up more space than the original single glyph when rendered into English. There are other facets of the Japanese language that contribute to the tendency for the average…...

Ambiguous Adventure by Cheikh Hamidou Kane

Not long ago my partner Jenn and I were visited by a couple we first met in Brooklyn, but who later moved to Paris. John is a jazz trombonist from Montana. Ana is a Parisian actress and translator from a Portuguese family. Before they said goodbye, Ana looked over my bookcases, picked out a small, seemingly…...

Monica Carter of Skylight Books Recommends

In a new column for the WWB blogs, we will be reaching out to booksellers to let us know what their favorite new works in translation are and to speak a little about their choices. In our first post, Monica Carter, of Skylight Books gives us her reading list.—Editors Short, But Not Always Sweet…...

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