In this month's main feature we travel into the realm of the fantastic, where routine situations turn surreal and the otherworldly becomes the norm. The journey begins on a bus with its own itinerary in Natsuki Ikezawa's “Navidad Incident.” Serbian Ranko Trifkovic writes a cookbook for sprites, while French Surrealist Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues finds a man the size of a bug in a loaf the size of a mountain. Nazli Eray finds the complete guide to life in a Turkish bookshop. Urdu master Naiyer Masud’s wanderer confronts family history in a swirling dust storm. Slovenia’s Maja Novak visits a Scottish castle haunted by the Bosnian conflict. In Malta, Pierre Mejlak’s dreamy child creates her own universe. And Manuel Miguel de Unamuno sees a man witness his own death.

In a more realistic vein, we present work from Iran. Mana Neyestani draws a cartoon and sets off a riot, Soheila Beski finds an immigrant clinging to the reflection of her past, and Elham Eshraghi leads a lamb from the slaughter.

In the first online installment of our World Through the Eyes of Writers column, in which established writers recommend new and emerging international authors, celebrated Chinese writer Can Xue introduces Zheng Xialou's “Festival of Ghosts.”


World through the Eyes of Writers


World through the Eyes of Writers


Writing from Iran

The Mirror

When the Bolsheviks took over, Tsar Nicholas summoned my father.





Book Reviews

Jose Donoso’s “The Lizard’s Tale”

In many ways, "The Lizard’s Tale" is an exercise in concealment through regeneration, or adaptation


Abdourahman Waberi’s “Passage of Tears”

On its most immediate level, "Passage of Tears" is coiled tight with the tensions of a thriller.


The Red Loaf

I began the laborious ascent of the loaf.

The Map

It's a General Map of Man with a special interpretation.

Dustland

During the red and yellow storms I even went out and watched the landscape changing color.

The Man Who Buried Himself

There are no words to express it in the language of men who die only once. 

At Livia’s Bar

Whenever she'd finish a city or an island, she would lift it in the air.

The Ghosts are Schrödinger Cats

It wasn’t an accident that her head was not attached to her body.