February brings our annual showcase of the international graphic novel. From time travel in Buenos Aires to rebirth in postwar Beirut, starvation in Mao's China and assimilation in 1950s Paris, these artist-writers delineate character and plot with their singular styles. See how Krzysztof Gawronkiewicz and Grzegorz Janusz, Mazen Kerbaj, Li Kunwu and Philippe Ôtié, Nawel Louerrad, Héctor G. Oesterheld and Solano Lopez, Roannie and Oko,and Jérôme Ruillier make every picture tell a story. WWB contributor Rutu Modan talks with Meg Storey about writing comics in Israel. Elsewhere, we present seven new poems by Vénus Khoury-Ghata, winner of the 2011 Prix Goncourt de poésie.

In the second installment of our World Through the Eyes of Writers column, in which established writers recommend new and emerging international authors, Korean writer Jo Kyung Ran introduces Hye-Young Pyun's “O Cuniculi.”



World through the Eyes of Writers

O. Cuniculi

What he’d mistaken for a white dog was staring at him with red eyes.


Poetry by Vénus Khoury-Ghata

As night became talkative

Her kitchen utensils fled after the last guest deserted her




Dead

the foxes who recognized her by her smell didn’t light their matches




Her apron drawn on her skin

The mother sent us out in the street naked



Book Reviews

Alexandra Chreiteh’s “Always Coca-Cola”

"Always Coca-Cola" comes off as a work of searing intensity that powerfully conjures the atmosphere of contemporary Beirut.


Admiel Kosman’s “Approaching You in English”

Sitting in any of the rooms that is each poem in "Approaching You In English" you’ll notice a tear in the ceiling; none of these poems are sealed shut


Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s “The Letter Killers Club”

To the members of the Letter Killers Club, letters of the alphabet are the prison cells of concepts, and they need to be destroyed.


César Aira’s “Varamo”

What is it that we do, really, when we write? And why can’t a fish be embalmed to look like it’s playing a tiny piano?


Letter to the Mother

Because of you I fancied killing a hundred times.

Demonsterate

I've been wearing this tutu since I was a kid.

from “The Eternonaut,” Part II

There are other survivors!

A Great Step Forward: Memoir of the Famine

Even the roaches in the village are dying of hunger.

from “Les Mohameds”

I loved Renault like you'd love a mistress.