Archives

January, 2009

Best Translated Book of 2008: Fiction and Poetry Finalists

Chad Post of Open Letter Books just announced the ten fiction and ten poetry finalists for the 2008 Best Translated Book of the Year award. The goal of the award is to help bring attention to great works of literature published in the United States over the past year. The award will culminate with the…...

From Ghazal to Zuihitsu: A Conference on Translating Asian Languages and Cultures

This recently came in from Roger Sedarat at Queens College: The Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation hosts a translation conference from March 26-March 28, 2009, with panels on translation pedagogy, Asian and Middle Eastern languages and literatures, translation in…...

From the Symposium: Studying the Arab World in Western Universities

Last month I attended the symposium "The Study of the Arab World in Western Universities," sponsored by ALESCO, the Arab League Educational and Scientific Organization, and hosted by the Arabic department of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, aka SOAS. The four-day…...

Allison Powell on “The Diving Pool”

In an essay that was originally featured in the companion booklet to her and Stephen Snyder's discussion of The Diving Pool at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City, Allison Powell talks about Ogawa, the themes of the author's work and speculates about the riveting and twisted imagery and obsessions…...

We’re In This Together, Individually: Report from a Roundtable Discussion on “The World of the Trans

Poet Jorie Graham once said, "It is the poet's dream to communicate. To say what we're really saying." And if you think about how hard it is to truly come clean in your own sentence, your own work's paragraph, and then turn that into distilling another poet's communication, from another time, and another…...

Ogawa Book Club Post—“Pregnancy Diary”

In her second post for our Diving Pool-discussion, Amber Qureshi discusses "Pregnancy Diary,"one of the novellas from the book and poses questions for our readers. You can find links to previous posts in the discussion at the bottom of the page, and we encourage you to read them and to join in the discussion.—Editors…...

Plumbing the Haunted Imagination of Yoko Ogawa

Austin Woerner reports on the discussion between Stephen Snyder and Allison Powell at the Idlewild bookstore last Thursday, January 8, in New York City. You can find the video from the event at the Words Without Borders Youtube channel—Editors As a translator of a language very different from my…...

film icon Yoko Ogawa Discussion on Video

If you missed the terrific discussion between Stephen Snyder and Allison Powell on Yoko Ogawa's The Diving Pool last week, you're in luck, because we're making a video available on YouTube. Here's part one and you can check in on our YouTube Channel for the rest as we post them (if you…...

An Introduction to “The Diving Pool” by Yoko Ogawa

Amber Qureshi jumpstarts the discussion of Yoko Ogawa's Diving Pool with an introduction to the author, her work and contemporary Japanese literature. Amber will be posting her impressions of The Diving Pool on a weekly basis throughout January and we hope all of our readers, and the attendees of our…...

“The Literature of Immigration” at FLYP

FLYP takes a look at the "Literature of Immigration" in its latest issue and features short interviews with the participants at the WWB- and Americas Society-sponsored event at the Americas Society in New York City last October. The event featured Neil Bissoondath, Marjorie Agosin and WWB author Amara…...

Online Book Club for “The Diving Pool” by Yoko Ogawa

This January, we kick off the year in book clubs with an online discussion of Yoko Ogawa's Diving Pool. Ogawa is one of contemporary Japan's most celebrated authors, and her collection of meticulously crafted, dark and troubling novellas provides a glimpse into the subtle, twisted drama of everyday life.…...

Dispatches: Translator/Author Complexity

In working through my own ideas of how I approach texts to be translated, a persistent issue that may never be resolved is that of the author's role. As much as I tell myself that I should have a clear idea of my position — or at least know what I think — the more I'm convinced that there…...

Everything for Literature

There is a myth that journalistic endeavors interfere with the true vocation of a novelist: writing novels. I find that the opposite is true. My journalistic excursions have, if anything, enhanced my work as a novelist. In early December, I traveled to Ukraine on a so-called íromance tour.ë…...

December, 2008

The Lost in Translation Project, Questions for Frances Evangelista

The Lost in Translation reading challenge, created by Frances Evangelista who blogs at Nonsuchbook, is bringing together readers and bloggers to read and discuss literature in translation. There are over 50 participants and the site is full of great reading suggestions and resources for readers. We think…...

The Words Without Borders Staff Favorites of the Year

This time of the year the Words Without Borders staff sits around the Words Without Borders fireplace with our mugs of hot toddy, chatting about the books we've been reading. Into the wee hours on one such night, Joshua said, "Hey, why don't we mention some of our favorites from the year on the blog?"…...

Thank You Caro Llewellyn!

From The Literary Saloon, we see that Caro Llewellyn, who has headed the PEN World Voices Festival in past years, is leaving for a new position in Melbourne. The way I understand it, planning for one festival begins about a week after the last one - it's a big job and when you're swirling among the great…...

A Dangerous Homage

Translated from the Spanish by Samantha Schnee Ten years ago, in the summer of 1997, I was visiting Guatemala City and staying with a friend when the phone rang in the middle of the night. It was my mother calling from San Salvador: badly shaken, she said she had just received two phone calls from a…...

Horacio Castellanos Moya’s “Senselessness” chosen among “The Best Books of 2008” at NPR

For their Best Books of the Year list, National Public Radio (NPR) chose Horacio Castellanos Moya's Senselessness among the top five foreign novels of the year. Senslessness is the story of an unnamed writer copyediting oral accounts of crimes against humanity in (an also unnamed) Guatemala as he himself…...

Ilya Kaminsky Awarded Lannan Literary Fellowship

Ilya Kaminsky, poetry editor at Words Without Borders, has been awarded a two-year literary fellowship by the Lannan Foundation. From their website: The Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships were established in 1989 to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality.…...

Dispatches: Creativity through Constraint

It is easy to think of translation in terms of confinement, especially when it comes to the translation of poetry. But there are have been literal renderings (Nabokov's Eugene Onegin), out-and-out rewrites (Lowell's Imitations), and even translations by those who aren't familiar with the source language…...

Three Percent’s Book-a-day

As we mentioned last week, the publisher devoted to literary translations, Open Letter, has introduced their "Best Literary Translation Award" starting last week with a long-list of 25 titles. Throughout the time before the announcement of the short-list on January 27th and the final winner on February…...

A Great Conversation on 2666

I think I could have listened to Francisco Goldman tell stories all night long, despite the heat raditating from over a hundred of us standing, eager Bolaño fans at Idlewild Bookstore Thursday night. While Goldman and Bolaño had never met - indeed, Goldman had not read Bolaño until…...

News from the Translation Front

The Elizabeth Kostova Foundation offers its second annual summer fiction-writing seminar in historic Sozopol in Bulgaria. The seminar consists of intensive daily fiction workshops, roundtable discussions, and readings/lectures by faculty and participants. Fiction writers from Bulgaria and fiction writers…...

Toussaint, Camus

Martin Riker from Dalkey Archive Press has an interesting piece at "The Front Table"* on his love for Jean-Philippe Toussaint's work. Regarding why it's important to publish several of Toussaint's books together, which Dalkey is doing, he says "This is not just about a book. Here's a writer who is doing…...

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