In this month’s main feature we travel into the realm of the fantastic, where routine situations turn surreal and the otherworldly becomes the norm. The journey begins on a bus with its own itinerary in Natsuki Ikezawa’s “Navidad Incident.” Serbian Ranko Trifkovic writes a cookbook for sprites, while French Surrealist Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues finds a man the size of a bug in a loaf the size of a mountain. Nazli Eray finds the complete guide to life in a Turkish bookshop. Urdu master Naiyer Masud’s wanderer confronts family history in a swirling dust storm. Slovenia’s Maja Novak visits a Scottish castle haunted by the Bosnian conflict. In Malta, Pierre Mejlak’s dreamy child creates her own universe. And Manuel Miguel de Unamuno sees a man witness his own death.
In a more realistic vein, we present work from Iran. Mana Neyestani draws a cartoon and sets off a riot, Soheila Beski finds an immigrant clinging to the reflection of her past, and Elham Eshraghi leads a lamb from the slaughter.
In the first online installment of our World Through the Eyes of Writers column, in which established writers recommend new and emerging international authors, celebrated Chinese writer Can Xue introduces Zheng Xialou’s “Festival of Ghosts.”