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The covers of the books featured in the Watchlist
The Watchlist: October 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends noteworthy new books in translation from Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Colombia, South Korea, and Norway.
Portrait of writer Felipe Restrepo Pombo
Photo copyright © R. Trejo
The Paradox of Unrestrained Power
By Ezra E. Fitz
It’s always struck me how many rich people in our countries end up hiring their own private armies: a very Colombian phenomenon.
Left, author Shariar Mandanipour; right, translator Sara Khalili
Left, Shariar Mandanipour, photo © Danial Mondanipour; right, Sara Khalili, photo © Miriam Berkley
The National Book Award Interviews: Shahriar Mandanipour and Sara Khalili
By the Editors
“There have been times when we have spent hours discussing a single phrase and how to give it the same life and soul in English.”
Left: Mohammed Hasan Alwan; Right: William M. Hutchins
The National Book Award Interviews: Mohammed Hasan Alwan & William M. Hutchins
By the Editors
I thought he was in search for something meaningful and, thus, he was exposing himself to conditions he hoped would light the way for a coming revelation.
Portraits of Jon Fosse and Damion Searls
Left: Jon Fosse, photo by Tom Kolstad Samlaget; Right: Damion Searls, photo by Beowulf Sheehan
The National Book Award Interviews: Jon Fosse & Damion Searls
By the Editors
“To me writing is an act of listening. And if I am writing well then what I write will necessarily be new to me as well. Writing is a journey into the unknown.”
Portraits of Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mitsutani
The National Book Award Interviews: Yoko Tawada & Margaret Mitsutani
By the Editors
We’re living in a world where both languages and people are constantly in flux. In this novel, I wanted to focus on a small group of people making their way through that world.
At left face of French language translator Mark Polizzotti and at right face of French Rwandan...
The National Book Award Interviews: Scholastique Mukasonga & Mark Polizzotti
By the Editors
“One thing that makes 'Kibogo' such a compelling work is the critical distance it maintains from all the power structures it describes.”
Portraits of Samanta Schweblin and Megan McDowell
Left: Samanta Schweblin, photo by Alejandra Lopez; Right: Megan McDowell, photo by Camila Valdés
The National Book Award Interviews: Samanta Schweblin & Megan McDowell
By the Editors
I’m always a little amazed at the subtlety of Samanta’s language, how much she can convey in so few words—that hasn’t changed over all the books of hers I’ve translated.
Portraits of Mónica Ojeda and Sarah Booker
The National Book Award Interviews: Mónica Ojeda & Sarah Booker
By the Editors
I always say to myself that Jawbone came to me as a nightmare, a vision full of fear and desire, but I really can’t remember how it started.
Portraits of Saša Stanišić and Damion Searls
Left: Saša Stanišić, photo by Katja Sämann; Right: Damion Searls, photo by Beowulf Sheehan
The National Book Award Interviews: Saša Stanišić & Damion Searls
By the Editors
I started working on [the book] in 2016 when my grandmother was showing the first serious signs of dementia. I wanted to create an archive of sorts, in which her life was told in stories.
Portraits of Olga Ravn and Martin Aitken
Left: Olga Ravn, photo credit: Lærke Posselt; Right: Martin Aitken
The National Book Award Interviews: Olga Ravn & Martin Aitken
By the Editors
I think my task was less linguistic than it was a matter of representing the environment in my mind and sensing its moods emotionally, entering that strange atmosphere so it could seep through into the translation.
sun setting behind a field of grass
Photo by Jake Givens on Unsplash
Anna
By Samira Negrouche
your mother like Mecca is a promised land—you must go there only once
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
MultimediaMultilingual
September-2022-International-Translation-Day-Feature
From left to right: Nicholas Glastonbury, Sawad Hussain, Yilin Wang, Stefan Tobler
What Comes after #NameTheTranslator?
By Yilin Wang, Stefan Tobler, Sawad Hussain & Nicholas Glastonbury
When we celebrate the increasing visibility of translation, we should also ask about what languages and literatures—and, consequently, what human experiences—are afforded visibility.
Vibrant green northern lights against a dark sky
Photo by Federico Bottos on Unsplash
Two Poems
By Rönn-Lisa Zakrisson
Show me to those southerners / Tell them about all the tongues that are mine / all the nature that’s mine
Translated from Swedish by Fiona Graham
Multilingual
The Monastery of Saint Naum
Fif' from Paris, France, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Near the Shrine of Saint Naum
By Najwan Darwish
I stood in the red church, / its tiny domes like buds / blossoming in stone
Translated from Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
MultimediaMultilingual
fishermen sitting on a pier with boats behind them
Dmitry Makeev, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Sky of the Lost Moon
By Ty Chi Huot
I was assigned to work in the propaganda group to recruit more people to our cause.
Translated from Khmer by Rinith Taing
The covers of all the books featured in the list
12 Global Children’s Books for History Lovers
By Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
In celebration of #WorldKidLitMonth, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp recommends 12 international books for young readers with an interest in world history.
two rows of people playing pachinko
Tischbeinahe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Pachinko Parlor
By Elisa Shua Dusapin
Do you know what your grandmother’s mother did to avoid being subjected to speaking Japanese at school? She sliced off part of her own tongue.”
Translated from French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
yellow smoke curling against a black background
Photo by Олег Жилко on Unsplash
kretek-ing
By Zahid M. Naser
bloodrush like the swell of desire in a room / surging higher and higher to my eyes, craving life
Translated from Malay by Pauline Fan
MultimediaMultilingual
Words Without Borders is hiring! Social Media Editor: Part-time, remote. Apply by September 26,...
We’re Hiring: Social Media Editor
By Words Without Borders
WWB seeks a social media editor to drive engagement and growth across our social media channels as we work to broaden the audience for international literature.
Portrait of writer Moira Egan
Photo copyright © Eric Toccaceli
The City and the Writer: In Rome with Moira Egan
By Nathalie Handal
The way the sunset sometimes Tiepolos the clouds.
A close-up of a threaded needle
Photo by Sunbeam Photography on Unsplash
Throwing Voices
By Linnea Axelsson
With this needle she can create anew what would otherwise disappear.
Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel
Sculpture of Coyolxauhqui
who were these goddesses
By Jeannette L. Clariond
For days, / years, they walked with jade beneath their tongues, seeking / home.
Translated from Spanish by Samantha Schnee
MultimediaMultilingual
A person pours tea into cups alongside pastries on a table
Photo copyright © Darren Byler
Translation as Transgression: Bringing the Uyghur Novel The Backstreets into English
By Darren Byler
In 2014, translating Uyghur knowledge into English felt like a subversive act in itself.
The cover of Mithu Sanyal's Identitti alongside a portrait of translator Alta L. Price
Photo credit: Donnelly Marks
Translating Identity Politics
By Jaeyeon Yoo
When I first read Identitti, I thought, “Is the author using this in earnest or is this meant to be funny?”
The covers of the five books featured in the Watchlist
The Watchlist: September 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends new and exciting books in translation from Sudan, Belgium, Haiti, France, and South Korea.
A herd of reindeer attached to a sled at sunset
Photo by Hans-Jurgen Mager on Unsplash
Polar Fire
By Moa Backe Åstot
Are there homosexual reindeer herders?
Translated from Swedish by B. J. Woodstein
Portraits of Bibiana Mas and Aina Marti
Bibiana Mas (left); Aina Marti
An Interview with Two New Publishers of Women in Translation
By the Editors
I thought I could create a space for sharing women’s global experiences through literary fiction. 
Map of German East Africa
Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
German Medicine
By Abdulrazak Gurnah
Her mother was dead, she knew that, but she did not know why her aunt and her uncle were the ones who took her in.
A cobblestone street in Rwanda at sunset with a few pedestrians and motorcycle riders
Photo by Michael Muli on Unsplash
No Familiar Faces
By Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse
I had the look of a Westerner fresh off the boat, with my wrinkled trousers, tourist backpack, and it didn’t tally with my fluency in Kinyarwanda.
Translated from French by Alison Anderson