Happy International Women's Day! In celebration of this special day, we've selected seven outstanding issues of women's writing in translation from the WWB archives. Featuring work from Sudan, Hungary, Taiwan, Tunisia, China, and more, these issues offer a glimpse of the range and diversity of contemporary women's writing from around the globe.
Image: Yasmeen Abdullah, “The Butterfly Effect.” By arrangement with the artist.
Very little writing from Sudan is translated into English, and even less of it is written by women. In this issue, guest editor Sawad Hussain introduces five female Sudanese novelists you should know, all of whom made their English-language debut in WWB.
Image: Farazeh Syed, Attire (cropped), acrylic on canvas, 4 x 5 ft, 2016. By arrangement with the artist.
In the contextual introduction to this issue, guest editor Haider Shahbaz and collaborators write, “A dispiriting narrowness has defined canons of Urdu feminist writing from previous decades.” This issue, by contrast, seeks to expand the definition of Urdu feminist writing and to bring new voices into the conversation.
Image: Maria Chilf, “Homesickness for an Unknown Landscape” (detail), 2009, mixed technique, chemical protective clothing, shoes, gloves, plastic, wood. Courtesy of the artist and VILTIN Galéria.
In this issue, guest editors Ágnes Orzóy and Erika Mihálycsa present six Hungarian women writers whose work challenges the prevailing literary discourse and seeks to provide space for voices seldom represented in Hungarian literature.
Image: Houda Ghorbel, “Push with me . . . my voice is coiled.” Photo by Wadi Mhiri.
Guest editor Cécile Oumhani introduces this issue of writing by Tunisian women in the wake of the Arab Spring. In fiction and poetry translated from French and Arabic, these authors grapple with the past and consider Tunisia's post-revolution future.
Image: Eleen Lin, “Oracle”, 2015, 105 x 84 in., Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, ink, lead, pastel, and charcoal on paper. © Eleen Lin. Courtesy of the artist.
Most of the Taiwanese writers whose work has been translated into English, writes guest editor Jeremy Tiang, have been men. This issue, featuring poetry, fiction, and drama by six Taiwanese women writers, seeks to counter that trend.
Image: Mary Sibande, “Everything is not lost,” 2011 Archival pigment print (Edition of 10) 87×113 cm Courtesy of Mary Sibande and Gallery MOMO.
Guest editor Eliza Griswold writes, “Since Odysseus paddled home to Ithaca, most of the world’s great war stories have belonged to men.” In this issue, it is women, instead, who narrate war, exploring armed conflicts around the globe through poetry, prose, and drama.
Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash
In 2008, to coincide with the Beijing Olympics, guest editor Hu Ying compiled a selection of writing by contemporary Chinese women writers. In fiction and nonfiction, these writers center women's experiences and address themes including love, sex work, and pregnancy.