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Contributor

Susan Harris

Susan Harris
Contributor

Susan Harris

Susan Harris is the editorial director of Words Without Borders. With Ilya Kaminsky, she coedited The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.

Articles by Susan Harris

“Don’t Go Dancing in the Cemetery Tonight”: 7 Translated Tales in Classic Horror Settings
By Susan Harris
If you’re looking for a seasonal chill, we direct you to our archives for these seven narratives that nod to classic horror tropes. While the settings may be familiar, you’ll find no clichés…
Reckonings: The Queer Issue XII
By Susan Harris
This year we celebrate Pride Month with seven pieces depicting Queer characters confronting decisive moments.
Climates: On Environment
By Susan Harris
Global warming manifests in obvious ways.
The Right to Identity: The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
The characters in the works presented here demand recognition of the full spectrum of Queer experience in often hostile environments.
Framing the Story: Six Graphic Narratives
By Susan Harris
These artists capture both words and images to convey narratives individual and collective.
Road Stories: International Writing on Travel
By Susan Harris
Some of the writers here document their own trips, while others invent characters and send them on the road.
Forced Confessions: On True Crime Writing
By Susan Harris
The pieces here map the translation of event into prose—the creation of true crime writing.
Other Lives, Other Worlds
By Susan Harris
The results of these confrontations range from triumphant to catastrophic as the boundaries between worlds dissolve.
For Halloween, Thirteen Eerie Stories from around the World
By Susan Harris
Once again the days shorten, the shadows lengthen, and the ghouls come out as Halloween rolls around. To help you celebrate this sinister time of year, we offer thirteen stories lurking in our crypt—er,…
11 International Queer Pieces to Read Right Now
By Susan Harris
As you may have noticed, we’re celebrating our tenth Queer issue. WWB has always published queer work, of course: there was the Spanish writer Andrés Barba’s sorrowful long story “Nocturne,”…
The Queer “I”: The Tenth Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
All the pieces are told in the first person, lending intimacy and immediacy to the events they describe.
Every Month Is Poetry Month
By Susan Harris
This National Poetry Month has been chockablock with recommendations of poets old and new, and we’ve celebrated as fervently as anyone. But we can all agree that the great pleasure and solace of…
Interiors and Interpretations: New Writing from Indonesia
By Susan Harris
The authors here represent a range of genres and topics in settings extending from distant planets to the very center of the earth.
Against Valentine’s Day: 7 International Love Stories for the Antiromantic in You
By Susan Harris
Do you look at bouquets of red roses and calculate when they’ll go limp? Do you think chocolates should come in boxes shaped like aortas and ventricles? Do you want to tell conversation hearts to…
Conflicting Stories
By Susan Harris
These works reflect a striking range of existential challenges shaping lives across the globe.
2018 at WWB: 11 Groundbreaking Works
By Susan Harris
Like the French, who celebrate the holiday season into Epiphany and offer bonne années till the end of January, we’re extending our traditional year-end observations into the beginning of…
A Pun, an Idiom, and an Expletive Walk into a Bar: International Humor
By Susan Harris
When we think of translating humor, we may think in terms of capturing jokes.
Honor Thy Father and Mother: In Mourning
By Susan Harris
All people mourn in their own ways.
For International Translation Day: 15 Ways of Looking at Translation
By Susan Harris
For International Translation Day, we’ve compiled fifteen essays, interviews, and conversations from the last fifteen years of Words Without Borders on the art and craft of translation,…
Beyond Queer: The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
The contributors to our Queer issues produce narratives that elude facile compartmentalization.
Single Translators Seek Same: The WWB Lonely Hearts
By Susan Harris
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and while some will take this opportunity to celebrate their beloveds, others continue to search for potential partners. It’s difficult to find an appropriate match…
Training for Pyeongchang 2018: Reading South Korea
By Susan Harris
The Winter Olympics kick off tomorrow in Pyeongchang, South Korea. While you’re boning up on the difference between skeleton and luge (head first vs feet first, same terrifying track), reviewing…
Past, Future, Present: International Graphic Novels, Volume XII
By Susan Harris
Though much of the art here may be in black and white, the topics addressed are anything but.
Our Year in Review: 2017 at WWB
By Susan Harris
Near the end of his life, the writer Bruce Chatwin characterized a rugged year as one he was “glad to see the end of.” This December many of us may share his sentiment. In 2017 many…
The World at Home: US Writing in Translation
By Susan Harris
This issue is not a departure but a continuation.
Haunting, Japanese Style
By Susan Harris
In the mood for seasonal reading? We recommend the Japanese ghost stories lurking in our archives. Ghosts play a major role in Japanese culture and, as the spooky stories here reflect, Japanese folklore…
The Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Kazuo Ishiguro
By Susan Harris
The 2017 Nobel Prize in literature goes to British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the…
A Playlist for Négar Djavadi’s “Désorientale”: 7 Punk Classics
By Susan Harris
Négar Djavadi’s wonderfully titled novel Désorientale tracks the life of a woman who flees her native Iran for France as a teenager in 1981. In the extract in this month’s issue,…
Recalculating the Hexagon: The New French Literature
By Susan Harris
These writers have migrated geographically and, in some cases, linguistically.
“It’s Us and Them”: Writing from and about Divided Countries
By Susan Harris
In the current environment of relentless political strife . . . debate deteriorates into name-calling; partisans morph into zealots, complex issues are reduced to binary terms, and hostility seethes just beneath the surface.
And What If Love Is Stronger? The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
In this troubling context, the need for portrayals of queer lives around the world becomes even more urgent.
5 International Love Poems to Read (and Share) this Valentine’s Day
By Susan Harris
With Valentine’s Day upon us, many go in search of persuasive romantic gestures. Some will bring flowers, others chocolates. But if you prefer to seduce with language, we offer the following international…
Five Comics Depicting Immigrant and Refugee Stories around the World
By Susan Harris
As Dominic Davies notes, graphic narratives have a unique persuasive power, combining text and imagery to “demand a participatory effort” on the part of the reader. This engagement with the…
People Behaving Badly
By Susan Harris
Many greet the clean slate of a new year by pledging to chalk up only virtue and moderation.
Our Year in Review: 2016 at WWB
By Susan Harris
Virginia Woolf famously noted, “On or about December 1910 human character changed . . . When human relations change there is at the same time a change in religion, conduct, politics, and literature.”…
Lighting the Darkness: Writing from around the World
By Susan Harris
In his memoir of his time in prison, “Villon and I,” the Algerian writer Mounsi reflects: “Wherever our anguish is at its worst, it’s books above all that save us.”…
Baking the Presidential Cake, and Keeping a Finger in the Pie
By Susan Harris
After next Tuesday, many of us in the US may elect to never think about politics again. But if you’re fighting presidential race fatigue, you may catch your second wind from a detour into the…
5 Tricks to Keep the Ghouls at Bay this Halloween
By Susan Harris
If you’ve shivered your way through our Ghost Stories feature this month and are ready for a few more frights, you need only turn to our pages, where you’ll find multiple examples of universal…
How Does It Feel? We May Never Know
By Susan Harris
After last week’s startling prize announcement comes another surprise: the Nobel committee has yet to make contact with their anointed one. But as the Swedish Academy sends out a search party…
A Reading List for the 2016 Frankfurt Guest of Honor
By Susan Harris
Next week’s Frankfurt Book Fair will celebrate the Netherlands and Flanders as the Guest of Honor. The theme of the festivities, “This Is What We Share,” reflects not only the common…
The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Bob Dylan
By Susan Harris
Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary…
An Inuit Story for Indigenous Peoples’ Day
By Susan Harris
Monday brings two holidays in the US: Columbus Day, commemorating the explorer’s arrival in the Americas, and Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in recognition of what he found there. For a different…
Hauntings: International Ghost Stories
By Susan Harris
Ghosts and all they represent lurk perennially in the universal consciousness and in literature around the world.
Read This If You Love Fashion Month
By Susan Harris
Image: A scene from Zoolander. Creative Commons.As the fashion industry soldiers through September, marching from New York to London to Milan and on to Paris, we’re sneaking behind the…
The Nobel Prize in Literature, Round Two
By Susan Harris
“The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, steady business.”—John SteinbeckAs the Nobel Prize announcement nears, the pace is picking up in both speculations…
Does “Immigrant Writing” Exist?
By Susan Harris
Image: Immigrants on the Steamer Germanic, illustration, 1887. Wikimedia Commons.This month’s issue on migration to and within Italy revisits a frequent WWB topic. It’s an endlessly…
7 Stories from Classrooms Around the World
By Susan Harris
It’s back-to-school season in the northern hemisphere, and even those of us who are no longer students can feel the fall offers a fresh start and new opportunities for knowledge. We’re refreshing…
Our 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the Olympics and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year’s candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the…
WWB Weekend: Willy Wonka and the Interstellar Chocolate Factory
By Susan Harris
With the death of Gene Wilder and the many remembrances of his Willy Wonka days, we’re finding both chocolate and solace in Yoss’s “Interstellar Biochocolate Mousse à la…
WWB Weekend: When the Earth Moves
By Susan Harris
Image: Local prefecture in L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy, after the 2009 earthquake. Wikimedia Commons.This week’s horrific earthquake in central Italy sends us back to the accounts of other quakes…
WWB Weekend: Three Summer Jobs from Hell
By Susan Harris
Image: Cubicles, 2006. Wikimedia Commons.If you, like us, are sulking at your desk while the rest of the world festoons Facebook with holiday snaps, perhaps you'll find some comfort in these…
WWB Weekend: Afterlives of Taiwan’s Women Writers
By Susan Harris
If the current issue has you itching to add more Taiwanese writers to your Women in Translation Month reading list, we suggest you head into our archives to revisit the haunted narratives of…
WWB Weekend: Olympian Feats
By Susan Harris
We’re getting a leg up on the Olympics with a story of a different sort of national athlete. In Zhao Ying’s “Red Bean Sticky Cakes and Running,” a star Chinese runner…
Melting? 5 Stories to Beat the Heat
By Susan Harris
As much of North America sizzles, escape the heat wave by diving into some of our most bone-chilling stories from five icy locations:SiberiaStart in that shorthand for shivers, Siberia,…
WWB Weekend: Beach Reading
By Susan Harris
Image: Postcard of the Bahia Honda Bridge, Key West, Florida, 1930-1945. The Boston Public Library.As scores of people head to the shore for the weekend, we’re summering with “Islamorada,” Rivka…
WWB Weekend: Ancestors of Pokémon Go
By Susan Harris
As the Pokémon Go craze sweeps and swipes through the world, and we at WWB live in fear of discovering that the office has been designated a gym, we seek refuge in a tale from the Stone Age of…
WWB Weekend: Comings and Goings, Brexit and Turke(ntr)y
By Susan Harris
Image: European Union flags on Castle Street, Hull, Great Britain. Creative Commons.With the UK still reeling at the prospect of leaving the European Union, we’re looking back to a time when another…
WWB Weekend: Soccer Queens of Colombia
By Susan Harris
In honor of the Copa America final this weekend and the pride celebrations this month, we turn to Alberto Salcedo Ramos’s rollicking “Queens Football,” from our Queer…
WWB Weekend: Muslim and Queer
By Susan Harris
In our sorrow and disbelief over the attack in Orlando, we turn to our archives for some insight into the lives of queer Muslims in other parts of the world. Two stories—one from Jordan, one from…
WWB Weekend: Boxing Days
By Susan Harris
This weekend, in memory of Muhammad Ali and with a nod to next month’s events in Rio, we’re scheduling a rematch with Eyad Barghuthy’s “A Knockout Punch,” from our May 2015…
WWB Weekend: Some Like it Marilyn
By Susan Harris
Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe would have turned ninety this week. Beyond her impact in the US, her image permeated international popular culture as well, as suggested by the far-flung origins of the…
In Praise of Nonconformity: The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
Behind the bigotry and hyperbole lurk the fear of the unknown, the threat to the status quo.
WWB Weekend: Memories and Wars
By Susan Harris
Image: WWII Memorial, Canberra, Creative Commons CC0.With Barack Obama visiting Hiroshima and Vietnam, and Memorial Day around the corner, the US is awash in memories of its wars and those lost in…
WWB Weekend: A Man Booker-Inspired Menu
By Susan Harris
We’re thrilled that Han Kang and her translator, Deborah Smith, carried off the Man Booker International Prize this week for The Vegetarian. WWB ran an excerpt from that singular book in our…
WWB Weekend: Before Eurovision, Havana Bolero
By Susan Harris
As the Eurovision song competition reaches for its final high note, we’re crooning along with Leonardo Padura’s humid “Nine Nights with Amada Luna,” from our July 2008 Revolutions…
WWB Weekend: The Danger of Saying “Madre” in Mexico
By Susan Harris
At the intersection of Cinco de Mayo (May 5) and Mother’s Day (May 8), we’re celebrating both holidays with a look back at Liza Bakewell’s essay “My Madre, Pure as Cumulous…
WWB Weekend: Quixotic Visions
By Susan Harris
Portrait of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, Juan de Jauregui y Aguilar, Wikimedia Commons Last week the world mourned the death and celebrated the life of a uniquely creative, internationally famed,…
WWB Weekend: Walt Whitman in Baghdad
By Susan Harris
April is National Poetry Month, and we're spotlighting the over eight hundred poems in our archives. We do hope you'll read several at a sitting: As Ilya Kaminsky notes in his brilliant introduction…
WWB Weekend: Grammar(s) of Easter
By Susan Harris
Spring continues apace: we’ve barely caught our breath after Nowruz and Easter is upon us. Before we don our bonnets and highstep off to the parade, we’ll warm up with two Paschal celebrations…
WWB Weekend: Nowruz Mubarak, or Happy 1375
By Susan Harris
Sunday brings Nowruz, the spring festival celebrated across the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Although Zoroastrian in origin and still observed as…
WWB Weekend: Aftershocks
By Susan Harris
Five years ago this week, the Tōhoku region of northeastern Japan was rocked by a violent earthquake and tsunami that triggered an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the wake…
WWB Weekend: No Fault in These Stars
By Susan Harris
In honor of US astronaut Scott Kelly’s return to Earth this week after nearly a year in space, we’re gazing heavenward, starting with the otherworldly hero of our two excerpts from the Argentine…
WWB Weekend: And the Screenplay Goes To…
By Susan Harris
This week, as Hollywood zooms in on the Academy Awards, we’re focusing on the film versions of two very different graphic novels from our archives. Written by the pseudonymous French bureaucrat Abel…
WWB Weekend: See You in C-U-B-A
By Susan Harris
After years of travel restrictions, the U.S. and Cuba have agreed to approve commercial flights between the two countries, and your travel agents at WWB are here to help you start planning. You can land…
WWB Weekend: Love, Once Removed
By Susan Harris
Sunday is Valentine’s Day, and we’ve plenty of romantic work on the site; you could start with our February 2005 issue, “Love, Literally,” with its array of affection…
WWB Weekend: Monkey Business for the New Year
By Susan Harris
The Chinese New Year kicks off on February 8. On your way to the party, why not Monkey around with the Chinese and Taiwanese graphics in our archives? “King-Ma Has Come,” Wei Tsung-cheng’s…
Graphic Novels at WWB: The First Ten Years
By Susan Harris
The narrative threads that weave through the last ten years tell a tale in themselves.
WWB Weekend: Cute As a Bug (and a Button)
By Susan Harris
As Argentina battles a plague of locusts of biblical proportions, we’re happy to return to a much more benign insect visitation. Japanese graphic artist Akino Kondoh’s “Ladybirds’…
WWB Weekend: Arab Seasons
By Susan Harris
Just over five years ago, a young Tunisian named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire and sparked the sequential uprisings that came to be known as the Arab Spring. The conflicts could not be contained…
WWB Weekend: Our “Heroes”
By Susan Harris
As the world mourns, nostalgic misfits jockey for the claim to Most Bereaved (e.g., the Telegraph’s “Why those who were teenagers in the 70s will feel the loss of David Bowie the…
WWB Weekend: Venezuela, Then and Now (and in Six Months)
By Susan Harris
“It might seem as though everything follows some kind of order, but no, it’s all chaos.”—Israel Centeno, “A Pornomilitary Romanza,” translated by Valerie MilesIf you’re…
WWB Weekend: White Christmas, Black Magic
By Susan Harris
For a twist on seasonal themes, check out Angelo Cannavacciuolo’s “White Christmas,” from our December 2008 issue. Yes, the story takes place on December 23 and 24, and snow does…
WWB Weekend: May the Force (and WWB) Be with You
By Susan Harris
As lines snake round the block for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we invite you to avoid the crowds by checking out the intergalactic offerings in our archives. Start with our December 2009 issue, “Out…
WWB Weekend: Our Germans of the Year(s)
By Susan Harris
Time’s anointing of German chancellor Angela Merkel as Person of the Year has sparked the predictable debate, but there’s no arguing the quality of the many German pieces we’ve published…
WWB Weekend: More from Madagascar
By Susan Harris
As Allison M. Charette notes in her illuminating introduction to this month’s issue, very few Malagasy writers have been translated into English, and only a handful of authors in Madagascar can…
WWB Weekend: On the Road to (Not) Giving Thanks, or the Hell That Is Family
By Susan Harris
As the US celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday, families come together to eat, give thanks, and enjoy (or tolerate) each other’s company. The prickly father, distracted mother, sullen adolescent,…
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Svetlana Alexievich
By Susan Harris
Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature for “her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” Sara Danius,…
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature: Latest Odds (and the End in Sight)
By Susan Harris
The Nobels kicked off today with the prize in medicine, and the Swedish Academy has revealed that the literature award will be announced this Thursday. The cheerily named NicerOdds (owned by…
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
Connections, Missed and Made: The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
As I write, the Irish people have just approved a constitutional amendment in favor of same-sex marriage, the nineteenth country to recognize this right. In the US the television program Transparent,…
Burton Watson Awarded PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation
By Susan Harris
PEN has just announced that the renowned scholar and translator from Chinese Burton Watson has won the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation. One of PEN’s most prestigious lifetime achievement…
WWB at AWP
By Susan Harris
If you’re heading to the Associated Writing Programs conference in Minneapolis next week, then you already know about the wealth of translation panels, events, and general buzz on offer. ALTA  has…
Man Booker Finalists, (Just about) All in One Place
By Susan Harris
There are many reasons to be excited about the Man Booker International Prize Finalists' List announced Tuesday. The ten authors come from ten different countries, six of which—Libya, Mozambique,…
We Have a New Editor!
By Susan Harris
We’re pleased to welcome Eric M. B. Becker as the new editor of Words without Borders. He joined us last week and has jumped right in with preparations for our April issue on Tamil literature and…
Ave atque Vale
By Susan Harris
This week WWB bids farewell to editor Rohan Kamicheril. Rohan started at WWB as a volunteer in 2006, and while still an intern compiled a double issue of new Russian writing in July and August 2007. He…
Celebrating WWB and Carol Brown Janeway: Our 2014 Gala and First Annual Globe Trot
By Susan Harris
Tuesday night WWB staff, board, contributors, supporters, and readers gathered at Tribeca 360, where the panoramic view mirrored the sweep of our content, to celebrate our eleventh anniversary…
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Patrick Modiano
By Susan Harris
The 2014 Nobel Prize in literature goes to France's Patrick Modiano. In its announcement, the Swedish Academy praised Modiano “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable…
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature: Latest Odds (and Ends)
By Susan Harris
The Nobels kick off next week. Traditionally, the Swedish Academy reveals the date (always a Thursday) for the literature award only hours in advance, but since the Nobel week once again coincides with…
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
The Memory of Our Land: Writing in and from Exile
By Susan Harris
In late May I attended a writers’ conference in Sozopol, Bulgaria, sponsored by the admirable Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. Sozopol lies on the Black Sea, less than two hundred miles south of Constanța,…
“Thank You, Gabo”: Translators on García Márquez
By Susan Harris
In response to the death of Gabriel García Márquez, some of our translators from Spanish share thoughts on their first encounters with his work. We'll hear from others in the near…
The Women in Translation: Right Here
By Susan Harris
The Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair was packed Tuesday for Where Are the Women in Translation? Readers will recognize the title from Alison Anderson's May 2013 piece about…
Our Year, in Review
By Susan Harris
As 2013 draws to a close, we'd like to thank our writers, translators, and readers for their many contributions in the last twelve months. This year has been one of celebration, as we marked…
André Schiffrin, 1932–2013
By Susan Harris
André Schiffrin, founder of the New Press and former editor-in-chief of Pantheon Books, died yesterday in Paris.  Schiffrin played a major role in bringing literature in translation to…
Celebrating WWB and Drenka Willen: Our Tenth Anniversary Gala
By Susan Harris
Tuesday night WWB staff, board, contributors, supporters, and readers gathered at Tribeca 360, where the panoramic view mirrored the sweep of our content, to celebrate our tenth anniversary…
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Alice Munro
By Susan Harris
In the agents' center of the Frankfurt Book Fair, a squeal of delight snaps everyone to attention: the Nobel goes to Alice Munro. In what is perhaps an homage to Munro's chosen form,…
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature: Down to the Wire
By Susan Harris
We're down to the wire: the Swedish Academy will announce the Nobel Prize in literature this Thursday at 1:00 pm Stockholm time. This decision breaks with the tradition of holding the literature…
Spain’s Great Untranslated on Tour
By Susan Harris
We're delighted to announce the fall tour for the anthology Spain's Great Untranslated, the print edition of our March 2013 issue. The tour kicks off Monday, September 30, in Miami,…
WWB Writers at the Brooklyn Book Festival Sunday
By Susan Harris
New York readers, we hope you'll spend your Sunday afternoon with the many WWB contributors appearing at the Brooklyn Book Festival. You can kick off at 11:00 with our Andy Tepper leading Alexander…
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
Sławomir Mrożek, 1930–2013
By Susan Harris
Poland's great Sławomir Mrożek died August 15 in Nice. Though best known as a dramatist, Mrożek was also a prolific writer of short stories; we were delighted to include his “Ketchup,”…
“The Infinite Sequence of Minute Decisions”: An Editor at the BCLT Translation Summer School
By Susan Harris
I spent a rapt and giddy week last month at the British Center for Literary Translation’s summer school, housed at the lagomorphiliac University of East Anglia in Norwich. (I’d heard that…
From the Archive: Girls, and Women
By Susan Harris
Oksana Zabuzhko's “Girls” portrays a passionate adolescent friendship that explodes into more. In the hothouse of a Ukrainian elementary school, the charismatic Effie seduces the studious…
From the Archives: Exiles
By Susan Harris
This month’s North Korean defectors join the numerous WWB contributors writing in exile. Most of April's Iraqi writers, many of November's banned Chinese writers, virtually all of our July…
From the Archives: Spring Comes to the Mountains
By Susan Harris
In this endless winter, when spring seems distant as the sun, we turn to Mario Rigoni Stern's luminous “Spring,” beautifully translated by Gregory Conti, from our March 2007 issue. Rigoni…
From the Archives: Graphic History
By Susan Harris
With this seventh edition of our annual graphic novel issue, we've now published close to eighty graphic works. Despite the “comics” label, many of these pieces are anything but playful,…
From the Archives: Moving Around Me
By Susan Harris
To whom does the story of the Haitian earthquake belong? Whose is it to tell, and in what form? Haitian writer and longtime Montreal resident Dany Laferrière was in Port-au-Prince for a literary…
From the Archives: If You’re Reading This, It Didn’t Happen
By Susan Harris
If the end of the year doesn't bring the end of the world, you might want to celebrate by looking back at January's Apocalypse issue. With a nod to the supposed Mayan prophecy (and not wanting…
From the Archives: Chinese Writing, Banned and Otherwise
By Susan Harris
Mo Yan's Nobel turned a spotlight on Chinese writers and literature, and the continuing controversy over his selection has prolonged, and intensified, that focus. Our timely current issue of banned…
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Mo Yan
By Susan Harris
The Nobel Prize in literature goes to Chinese writer Mo Yan. From the citation: “Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent…
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Down to the Wire
By Susan Harris
We're down to the wire. The Academy has confirmed that the Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced Thursday, and the speculation, oddly muted to date, has picked up a tad. Ladbrokes continues…
Michael Henry Heim, 1943–2012
By Susan Harris
The incomparable Michael Henry Heim died September 29. Translator of scores of books from a dozen languages and professor of Slavic at UCLA for forty years, he did perhaps more than anyone to advance…
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Round Two
By Susan Harris
Resuming our earier conversation, the speculation continues. Britain's suspiciously accurate Ladbrokes (remember, last year they had Tomas Transtromer in the top five) bets on Haruki Murakami at 5:1,…
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
From the Archives: Ghosts on the Bridge
By Susan Harris
As a transition between the two parts of our double issue of Japanese writing, you might want to revisit Michael Emmerich’s essay “Beyond Between: Translations, Ghosts, Metaphors,” from…
Pride in Padua
By Susan Harris
Before you head out to your local pride parade, stop by Padua's, courtesy of Matteo Bianchi's “Maternal Pride.” Bianchi's droll panorama captures both the teeming crowd and the…
Two Takes on May-December
By Susan Harris
In Cristina Peri Rossi's “Ne me quitte pas,“ a fortysomething psychiatrist finds a patient's romantic anguish reflects his own insecurity about his teenaged lover. As the patient describes…
Magdy El Shafee Publishes “Metro” in English
By Susan Harris
It's Metro Day at WWB. We're celebrating the publication of Magdy El Shafee's graphic novel, available today from Metropolitan Books in Chip Rossetti's translation. Readers will recall…
Musical Beds, Catalan Style
By Susan Harris
If you've finished the issue and are still in the mood, check out Empar Moliner's rollicking “Invention of the Aspirin” in our October 2007 Catalan issue. A bored wife finds she has…
From the Archives: Poetry, Sex, and Rap
By Susan Harris
April is National Poetry Month, and our theme this month is sex, so we're going back to our November 2005 South Korean issue for a tale that fits both: Lee Gi-ho's “Earnie.” The story…
Celebrating World Poetry Day
By Susan Harris
Today is World Poetry Day, and in celebration we invite you to explore our rich archives. Start with Ilya Kaminsky's brilliant manifesto on poetry in translation, “Correspondences in the Air,”…
Japan, One Year Later
By Susan Harris
On March 11, 2011, the Tōhoku region of northeastern Japan was rocked by a violent earthquake and tsunami that triggered an accident at a nuclear power plant. We mark the anniversary…
Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist Announced
By Susan Harris
Three Percent, the resource for international literature based at the University of Rochester, has announced the fiction longlist for the 2012 Best Translated Book Awards. The twenty-five nominees include…
Tahrir Square, One Year Ago
By Susan Harris
As the events of the Arab Spring unfolded last year, WWB published a number of dispatches from and about the affected countries.  One of our favorites came from Egyptian graphic novelist Magdy El…
MuXin, 1927–2011
By Susan Harris
Chinese writer and painter MuXin died December 21. MuXin was born in 1927 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, to an wealthy, aristocratic family. His original enthusiasam for Mao Zedong waned as, in the…
On North Korea: Leaders Great and Dear, and Literature
By Susan Harris
The opacity that his obituaries attribute to Kim Jong-il extends to North Korean literary culture. WWB has published a fair amount of writing from the country, starting with our second issue in September…
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Tomas Tranströmer
By Susan Harris
The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to Sweden's great Tomas Tranströmer. The Swedish Academy said it recognized the eighty-year-old poet “because, through his condensed, translucent images,…
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature: Countdown!
By Susan Harris
News flash: The usually coy Swedish Academy has announced that the Nobel will be awarded Thursday. In the home stretch, Ladbrokes keeps Adonis and Tranströmer to win and place, while Murakami moves…
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature: Round Two
By Susan Harris
Resuming last week's conversation, the speculation continues. Britain's suspiciously accurate Ladbrokes bets on Adonis at 4:1, followed by Tomas Transtromer at 9:2 and Peter Nadas at 10:1. Thomas…
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
From WWB to Book: Success Stories, III
By Susan Harris
Continuing our series on WWB authors who've sold English-language rights to their work as a result of appearing in WWB, we're delighted to announce the publication of Johan Harstad’s Buzz…
PEN Translation Prizes Announced
By Susan Harris
PEN has just announced its literary awards for 2011. The award for poetry in translation went to Khaled Mattawa for Adonis: Selected Poems by Adonis (Yale University Press, The Margellos World Republic…
How Long It Is, This Arab Spring
By Susan Harris
It's now seven months since Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire and ignited the Arab Spring. As we wrap up the first of two issues of writing from the uprisings, it's instructive to look back…
NEA Translation Awards Announced
By Susan Harris
The NEA has announced this year's fellowships for translation projects, and we're very happy to see so many WWB translators among the recipients. Congratulations to Eric Abrahamsen,  Ross…
From WWB to Book: Success Stories, II
By Susan Harris
Continuing our series on WWB authors who've sold English-language rights to their work as a result of appearing in WWB, we're delighted to announce the publication of the graphic novel Farm 54,…
Edward Gauvin Wins Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award
By Susan Harris
We're thrilled to report that our magnifique translator Edward Gauvin has won the Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award for his rendering of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud's Life…
The Bolaño Guide to WWB
By Susan Harris
If you're compiling a reading list from Roberto Bolaño's Between Parentheses, you can find many of his recommended authors right here at WWB. Looking for “the best woman writer in…
Eduardo Halfon Awarded Guggenheim
By Susan Harris
We're delighted to report that Eduardo Halfon has been awarded a Guggenheim Latin American and Caribbean Fellowship. In “The Polish Boxer,” from our July 2009 Memory and Lies issue, Halfon…
Teachers’ Pets, and Fools for Love
By Susan Harris
Marco Di Marco's “Moving Like Geckos” has a fraternal twin in last year's queer issue. Polish writer Eva Schilling's  “Fool”  also features a teacher-student…
Best Translated Book Awards Go to Aleš Šteger/Brian Henry, Tove Jansson/Thomas Teal
By Susan Harris
The winning titles and translators for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards were announced Friday evening at the Bowery Poetry Club as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. BTBA co-founder Chad…
Ernesto Sábato, 1911–2011
By Susan Harris
Argentine writer and human rights hero Ernesto Sábato has died at the age of ninety-nine. Sábato was the author of The Tunnel (1948), On Heroes and Tombs (1961), and The Angel of Darkness…
The Poetry Forum: International Women Poets
By Susan Harris
April brings both Poetry Month and the first anniversary of the publication of our Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. In his introduction to the anthology, editor Ilya Kaminsky lamented the shortage…
New MLA Guidelines on Evaluating Translations
By Susan Harris
The Modern Language Association has posted new guidelines for evaluating translations as scholarship for tenure review.  Building on previous publications by ALTA and PEN, and drawing on the report…
From Saigon to Quebec: Kim Thuy
By Susan Harris
Kim Thuy was born into privilege in Saigon in 1968 and fled ten years later with her family. After a harrowing crossing in the hold of a fishing boat and a miserable stay in a Malaysian refugee camp,…
The Writer and the Screenwriter: An Interview with Domenico Starnone
By Susan Harris
Domenico Starnone has written for film both directly and indirectly: he has over a dozen screenplays to his credit, and has had one of his novels, Denti, turned into a film. This interview was conducted…
“Hitchcock and Agha Baji”: The MacGuffin in Iran
By Susan Harris
Behnam Dayani's “Hitchcock and Agha Baji,” from our inaugural July/August 2003 issue, combines an Iranian teenage film buff, a Hitchcock classic, and a character straight out of the Arabian…
Magdy El Shafee’s “Metro” to be Published in English
By Susan Harris
We're delighted to report that Magdy El Shafee's graphic novel, Metro, will be published by Metropolitan Books in early 2012. Readers will recall that WWB published an extract in February 2008,…
Questions for Peter Bush and Teresa Solana
By Susan Harris
Peter Bush has been translating the fiction of Teresa Solana since 2005, producing sparkling English versions of many of her stories and two of her comic noirs, A Shortcut to Paradise and A Not So Perfect…
Censorship in Egypt: An Interview with Magdy El Shafee
By Susan Harris
In February 2008, WWB published an extract from the first Egyptian graphic novel for adults, Magdy El Shafee's Metro. Set in a chaotic modern Cairo pulsing with economic and social instability, the…
Humphrey Davies Wins 2010 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize
By Susan Harris
Congratulations to our marvelous Arabic translator Humphrey Davies, winner of the 2010 Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for his translation of Elias Khoury's novel…
A Training Manual for Murder
By Susan Harris
Ambar Past's mordant “Practice for Hangmen,” from our March 2007 issue, offers a training manual for executioners. Jumping off from a Reuters report on the unfortunate results of flawed…
The Worst Editing Job in the World
By Susan Harris
. . . is the task accepted by the narrator of Horacio Castellanos Moya's Senselessness. In this extract from our issue of October 2006, a self-described “depraved atheist” writer is hired…
White Christmas, Black Magic
By Susan Harris
For a twist on seasonal themes, check out Angelo Cannavacciuolo's “White Christmas,” from our December 2008 issue. Yes, the story takes place on December 23 and 24, and snow does finally…
Platform of Blood
By Susan Harris
After you've shuddered through this month's offerings, check out “The Platform” from January 2010. Brazil's Pena Cabreira enters the mind of a master carpenter and builds to a…
Wu Ming on King: On Translating Stephen King into Italian
By Susan Harris
We were intrigued to learn that Stephen King's new Italian translator is a member of the collective known as Wu Ming.  Wu Ming 1 graciously agreed to answer our questions. WWB: How did you decide…
The Other Turkey
By Susan Harris
As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, we serve up the other Turkey. In addition to the fiction and poetry in this month's issue (“Before winter arrives you must hire a handsome assassin”),…
From a Syrian Prison
By Susan Harris
Although our new anthology, Tablet and Pen,  is predicated on the common experience of colonialization, many of the contributors have also fought repression by their own governments. Syrian writer…
Adonis on Migration and Loss
By Susan Harris
The many marvelous poets in our new anthology, Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, include the dazzling Adonis. The  most important poet writing in Arabic today and a…
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Vargas Llosa
By Susan Harris
It's Mario Vargas Llosa. The announcement isn't on the Nobel site site yet, but the Swedish Academy commended the author “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images…
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature: Week Three Countdown
By Susan Harris
Forty-eight hours to go to the announcement, and the race is up for grabs. Six hours ago, Ladbrokes had Ngugi wa Thiong’o at 3:1, followed by Cormac McCarthy (6:1), Haruki Murakami (7:1), Tomas…
From WWB to Book: Success Stories
By Susan Harris
To our delight, a number of WWB authors have sold English-language rights to their work as a result of publication in WWB. We'll be highlighting some of them in this series. The prolific Moroccan…
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature: Week Two
By Susan Harris
Resuming last week's conversation, the speculation continues. Britain's suspiciously accurate Ladbrokes is yet to weigh in, but  Unibet has posted odds for candidates both familiar (Adonis)…
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
NEA Literature Translation Fellowships Announced
By Susan Harris
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the 2011 Literature Translation Fellowships, and we're delighted to see so many WWB friends and contributors on the list. Congratulations to Esther…
From the Archives: Trading Maniacs
By Susan Harris
If you're reveling in this month's Urdu issue, do check out Saadat Hasan Manto's 1955 classic “Toba Tek Singh” from September 2003. Just after Partition, the governments of Pakistan…
Fady Joudah Wins PEN USA Translation Prize
By Susan Harris
We're delighted to report that poet and WWB contributor Fady Joudah has won the 2010 PEN USA Literary Award for Translation for his splendid rendering of Mahmoud Darwish's If I Were Another. WWB…
F*** You around the World
By Susan Harris
The New York Times is known for its demure treatment of profanity, but a recent article on a cheery new song with an unprintable title took this habitual prissiness to new heights. The writer, Noam Cohen,…
From the Archives: A Coastal Village, When Summer Gives It the Slip
By Susan Harris
As the Northern Hemisphere's summer crawls to a close, we recommend Yasmina Khadra's “Absence.”  In an Algerian resort town at the end of the season, shy, dreamy teen Nasser waves…
From the Archives: The Girl with the Finnish Stalker
By Susan Harris
In this Summer of Stieg Larsson, we challenge Sweden's claim to the Nordic crime crown with a chilling Finnish story from our issue of June 2007.  In this extract from one of Matti Yrjänä…
From the Archives: The Particular Sadness of Fresh Lobster
By Susan Harris
Since the entire world is on vacation, anticipating vacation, or just back from vacation, we recommend “Agony in the Kitchen,” from our issue of September 2003. Juan José Millás…
From the Archives: Riding Bearback
By Susan Harris
If this month's wealth of Hungarian writing leaves you wanting more, look no further than our May 2008 issue. György Dragomán's “Haul” describes a human smuggler named…
Elif Shafak on the Politics of Fiction
By Susan Harris
Ted.com features a video of Turkish writer and WWB contributor Elif Shafak speaking on the politics of fiction.  Shafak describes her childhood as the daughter of a diplomat, recalls the various…
From the Archives: Dueling Castro Autobiographies
By Susan Harris
Fidel Castro has announced the publication of The Strategic Victory, the first volume of his memoirs. (The second volume:  The Final Strategic Counteroffensive.) For a possibly more accurate perspective,…
From the Archives: To the Winner Goes the Prosciutto
By Susan Harris
Jean-Philippe Toussaint's Self-Portrait Abroad collects the Belgian writer's impressions of his travels to destinations as diverse as Kyoto, Berlin, Hanoi, and Prague. The extract published in…
Lives on Paper
By Susan Harris
We're delighted to note the publication of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud's Life on Paper, a collection of short stories selected and translated by Edward Gauvin. Châteaureynaud…
From the Archives: The Sweet Science and Magic
By Susan Harris
Ana María Shua's Rematch, from our August 2005 issue, goes twelve rounds with the story of Argentine boxer Carlos Monzón, the World Champion Middleweight from 1970 to 1977.  Our…
Translating the World
By Susan Harris
The Banff Centre Press has just published a collection of essays on translation, Beyond Words: Translating the World, edited by Susan Ouriou, director of the Banff International Literary Translation Center.…
From the Archives: Rx for World Cup Withdrawal
By Susan Harris
If the end of the World Cup has left you, in the words of Mexico's Álvaro Enrigue, “socceristically disoriented,” we prescribe Enrigue's elegiac “Readymade” from…
Pride in Padua
By Susan Harris
Before you head out to your local pride parade, stop by Padua's, courtesy of Matteo Bianchi's “Maternal Pride.” Bianchi's droll panorama captures both the teeming crowd and the…
From the Archives: Putting the “T” in GLBT
By Susan Harris
First published in our December 2007 Departures issue, Gaute Heivoll's  “Dr. Gordeau” follows a Norwegian man on an ominous trip to an unnamed country in search of a sex change. Seeking…
PEN Translation Awards Announced
By Susan Harris
PEN has just announced the winners of the 2010 translation awards, and we're delighted to see three of our translators on the list. Congratulations to Peter Golub, awarded for his translations of…
Andrei Voznesensky, 1933–2010
By Susan Harris
The Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky has died at seventy-seven. Here are the first and last stanzas from his “Darkmotherscream,” translated by Robert Bly and Vera Dunham, in The Ecco Anthology…
Prieto, Mandelstam, Allen, and Correspondences in the Air
By Susan Harris
The June 10 issue of the New York Review of Books includes Jose Manuel Prieto's fascinating “Reading Mandelstam on Stalin,” translated by the impeccable Esther Allen. Prieto describes…
Ilya Kaminsky, Reading
By Susan Harris
Last night the Poetry Foundation held its annual Pegasus Award ceremony at the Arts Club of Chicago, and our Ilya Kaminsky blew the roof right off. Speaking in his capacity as a former recipient of a…
Foreign Policy Debuts Translation Feature
By Susan Harris
Foreign Policy debuts a feature, “Overcoming the Language Barrier,” presenting brief extracts from fiction and nonfiction in translation from Afrikaans, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Mandarin,…
Wolff Prize to Ross Benjamin
By Susan Harris
We're delighted to report that Ross Benjamin has been awarded the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize for his translation of Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov, published by Verso. From the announcement:…
Fanfare for Farm 54
By Susan Harris
A number of books have been bought for English-language publication as a result of extracts we've published, and we've just learned of another. We're delighted to report that English-language…
On Poetry in Translation
By Susan Harris
The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry has been out for a couple of weeks now, and as we await the critical response, I think of the most satisfying poetry review I read last year: Jon Stallworthy,…
Ilya on Poetry in Poetry
By Susan Harris
The March issue of Poetry includes Adam Kirsch's thrilling interview with Ilya Kaminsky about our Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.  With the erudite brilliance that characterizes his introduction,…
Every Unhappy Family Is Funny in Its Own Way
By Susan Harris
As a lagniappe, we’re complementing our extract from Blutch’s That Was Happiness—in which a divorcing couple has The Talk with their young son—with a brief video of the artist…
Op Oloop
By Susan Harris
 In the spirit of our PerecFest, I recommend Juan Filloy’s Op Oloop, published last summer by Dalkey Archive in Lisa Dillman’s ingenious translation. The title chimes with upending…
The Task of the MLA
By Susan Harris
At MLA in Philadelphia, the theme was translation, the community was out in force, and the Benjamin evoked was Walter, not Franklin. Here the discussion of translation focused not only on technique or…
The Salon du Livre de Montréal
By Susan Harris
Bonjour from the Salon du Livre de Montréal Salon. Katie Mace of Europa, Lorin Stein of FSG, and I are here on an editors trip courtesy of the Délégation générale du…
The Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year’s candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
Updike and Foreign Fiction
By Susan Harris
In May 1998 I opened the New Yorker to discover a review, by John Updike, of Péter Esterházy’s She Loves Me, which I’d published in my Hydra imprint in late 1997. The review…
Fagles Prize to Lawrence Venuti
By Susan Harris
We’re delighted to report that Lawrence Venuti has been awarded the 2008 Robert Fagles Translation Prize for his translation of the Catalan poet Ernest Farrés‘s Edward Hopper. You can…
The 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year’s candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
Mahmoud Darwish, 1941-2008
By Susan Harris
Mahmoud Darwish is dead. The great poet of Palestinian displacement died in a Houston hospital after open-heart surgery. In a poem in his 2006 “Diary,” Darwish writes,If you were told: you’re…
Graphic Censorship
By Susan Harris
Troubling news from Cairo, where Magdy El Shafee’s new graphic novel, The Metro, has been seized by police on the ground of “disturbing public morals.” Magdy reports that police raided…
The Year in Translation
By Susan Harris
The end of the year is upon us, and with it the end of year lists of the best of everything. What new translations did you read this year, and what did you like? Loathe? Long for? Cast your vote now.
The Guardian on Translation
By Susan Harris
Richard Lea in the Guardian uses the Society of Authors’ annual translation prize as a springboard to explore the current state of translation publishing.
The 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool
By Susan Harris
Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year’s candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual…
Jungle Books
By Susan Harris
The New York Times follows our Lusophone lead with a profile of our Milton Hatoum and his fellow Brazilian Márcio Souza.
Chronicle of a Murder Foretold
By Susan Harris
A Polish writer has been convicted of a 2000 murder that replicated (or, more accurately, foreshadowed) the pulpy plot of his 2003 novel. The court ruled the evidence insufficient to convict Krystian…
This Week in Diacritics
By Susan Harris
With this issue, we present our most challenging translation: the redesign and re-engineering of the WWB site. During the transition, a number of codes and special characters were muddled, including—mortifyingly—our…
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