As governments around the world prepare to elect the next leaders (and as we get ready for our annual Globe Trot), we’re charting a literary itinerary of writing from countries that will hold local or national elections this weekend:
Bulgaria: Angela Rodel’s translation of Georgi Tenev’s “Old Proud Mountain” contains the memorable epigraph: “After every national disaster, the intelligentsia always regrets siding with the people.”
Colombia: “Gabo, A Magical Life,” by Oscar Pantoja, illustrated by Tatiana Córdoba and translated by Lawrence Schimel, from our February 2015 graphic lit issue. (For a deeper cut, our September 2009 issue contains an excerpt from Katherine Silver’s translation of Antonio Ungar’s “Ears of the Wolf”—out last year in a bilingual edition from Brutas Editoras.)
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Alain Mabanckou’s “African Psycho,” excerpted in our January 2005 issue on Francophone Africa and published in Christine Schwartz Hartley’s translation in 2007.
Haiti: Yanick Lahens’s “Time Stretches Out and My Words Do, Too,” from our January 2013 Haiti issue, tries to break free of easy stereotypes: “I keep saying Haiti is neither a postcard nor a nightmare.”
Poland: “Fakes,” Sean Bye’s translation of Sylwia Chutnik from our June 2015 “Queer Issue.”
Ukraine: “April 2045: The Hole,” from our August 2014 feature of Ukrainian writing.
Photo: Haitians voting in the 2006 elections, by Marcello Casal, Jr. (Agência Brazil).