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By Kader Abdolah
One stands on the mountains of my country as if on a grave. An abandoned grave; no one knows who lies buried there.During the winter nothing is visible. In spring when the snow has melted, the graves…
Translated from Dutch by Peter Constantine
from The Girl Who Played Go
By Shan Sa
45Min loathes games, he thinks they’re a waste of time, but this afternoon, after prolonged pleading, I have managed to make him change his mind. He agrees to play cards on condition that we stay…
Translated from French by Adriana Hunter
“Why don’t I have”
Why don't I have You? Why don't I see the trace of Your hand in the inhumanly rational construction of a blade of grass. The blackbirds' song for me is only ownerless, I can't hear Your…
Translated from Polish
from The Mighty Angel
By Jerzy Pilch
Chapter One: The Yellow DressBefore the mafiosi appeared in my apartment in the company of the dusky poetess Alberta Lulaj, before they wrenched me from my drunken sleep and before they set about demanding-first…
Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston
By Lars Saabye Christensen
Each day that whole summer, apart from the week when she was to learn to swim, Andrea stood at the quay and waited as the Prince drew in to land. It wasn’t the passengers she wanted to see, as they…
Translated from Norwegian by Kenneth Steven
from Dreams and Stones
By Magdalena Tulli
The tree of the world, like every other tree, at the beginning of the season of vegetation puts out tiny delicate golden leaves which with time acquire a dark green hue and a silvery sheen. Then they…
Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston
Untold Hitlers
By Vijay Dan Detha
The five were only men. Some younger, some older, all between thirty and fifty. The eldest was beginning to gray here and there, but the others had heads of hair black as bumblebees. They looked like…
Translated from Rajasthani by Christi A. Merrill & Kailash Kabir
from Mercedes-Benz
By Paweł Huelle
Published in 2001, this novel takes the form of a long letter addressed to the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, who died in 1997. In this extract, during a driving lesson the narrator tells his instructor,…
Translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
from Frau Teleprocu
By J. Rodolfo Wilcock & Francesco Fantasia
Dante and PhilosophyPhilosophy contracted a well-trained muscle and lifted her bosom invitingly toward Dante. He leaned forward and snatched a sliver of onion in his teeth.“The sauce too,”…
Translated from Italian by Lawrence Venuti
from The Professor’s Knife
I Trains a freight train cattle cars in a very long line it goes through fields and forests through green meadows over grasses and herbs so quietly the buzzing of bees can be heard it goes through the…
Translated from Polish
Basra Stories
I was born in Basra many times, in all of the stories that I heard about it-in the stories which were told around me when I was a child, in the images I formed of it during my first trips there with my…
Translated from Arabic
“I lie with my face low”
I lie with my face low in the grass, a lark high above us. An ant drags a dry stalk across my hand. I see what it sees: precipitous pores, a forest of grass, the treacherous peaks of sand. Salty sweat…
Translated from Polish
Witold Gombrowicz, and to Hell with Culture
Witold Gombrowicz is probably the most important twentieth-century novelist most Western readers have never heard of, which is to say that he is the kind of writer whose following consists largely of…
A record plays on a turntable
Photo by Jace & Afsoon on Unsplash
Music Heard with You
By Adam Zagajewski
Grave Brahms and elegiac Schubert, / a few songs, Chopin's third sonata
Translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh
Where Did I Wake Up
By Stanisław Barańczak
Where did I wake up? where am I? Where'smy right side, where's the left? where's above, andwhere's below? Take it easy, that's my bodyon its back, that's the hand I useto hold…
Translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh
The Rat
By Witold Gombrowicz
The terror of the whole neighborhood, which had been so settled and well-off, was a brute, a scamp, and a brigand known as the Hooligan. He was born in the middle of nowhere on an expansive plain, grew…
Translated from Polish by Benjamin Paloff
Climbing with Huberath
I was surprised to hear that Marek Huberath was a mountain climber in his spare time. I thought, “Maybe not a real mountain climber.” People do like to boast. He was achiever enough, not only…
Yoo Retoont, Sneogg. Ay Noo
By Marek Huberath
Finally Tib's gray gown fell to the floor, and the Dags started to climb up her leg.
Translated from Polish by Michael Kandel
“Nowhere has denying”
Nowhere has denying reigned as rife as in this not which is outsitting me here.Oh, if only death would outstare itself for ever in its iron mirror. God, what a down-at-heel hope for a voiceless evaporation…
Translated from Dutch
“Yesterday, yes, I still existed here”
Yesterday, yes, I still existed here: in this pitiful winestain, in these paupered words way past their prime,in that handshake which I will never manage to hold in any of my handbooks, and which under…
Translated from Dutch
“With one hand in my lap”
With one hand in my lap, with my other hand on the table. My head is located above it;in which a landscape drops anchor, sun-drenched. It is one moonless evening. While his son carefully draws the sculls…
Translated from Dutch
“Since nobody was there anyway”
Since nobody was there anyway, and since it is not blocked off, it's time for a walk once again along the brink of the beach, where all of a sudden the woods held back, or have withdrawn by degrees.Thinking…
Translated from Dutch
“One fine day it was night”
One fine day it was night. I seemed to be just about to catch my first fish. Suddenly it allconspires against me. It was too late to unbait my hook. I head for home, humming in my sleep, to worship the…
Translated from Dutch
If later, or sooner, it is
If later, or sooner, it is, or becomes, sayable-this is the most thingable it will be; best of all, let my text encircle someonewho foists it on himself, or by whom it's fobbed off with itself; if…
Translated from Dutch
“Then they went away too”
"Then they went away too." Hardly had I known them. I also hardly stayed behind. I would have liked to write something down, but I had forgotten to writeit down. If you listen to people, it's…
Translated from Dutch
By Cristina Peri Rossi
Toward the end of the twentieth century, rumors about the cities spread. Some people spoke of their demise, others of a strange rebirth from out of the rubble. Clandestine groups would whisper secrets…
Translated from Spanish by Tobias Hecht
from The Literature Conference
By César Aira
Part One: The Macuto YarnOn a journey I recently had cause to make to Venezuela, I had the opportunity to admire the famous “Macuto Yarn,” one of the Wonders of the New World. It is the legacy…
Translated from Spanish by Amanda Hopkinson
That Woman
By Rodolfo Walsh
I buried her standing, like Facundo, because she had balls!
Translated from Spanish by Cindy Schuster
Hotel Almagro
By Ricardo Piglia
When I first moved to Buenos Aires I rented a room in the Hotel Almagro, on Av. Rivadavia and Castro Barros. I was finishing the stories for my first book and Jorge Álvarez offered me a contract to publish…
Translated from Spanish by Sergio Waisman
A Modern Hero
By Maria Fasce
There are no heroes in the city. Nor in the country. This is the problem that modern women face. Our men don’t go to war, and if they did it would be out of stupidity or irresponsibility. Even so,…
Translated from Spanish by Marina Harss