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February 2012

International Graphic Novels: Volume VI

February brings our annual showcase of the international graphic novel. From time travel in Buenos Aires to rebirth in postwar Beirut, starvation in Mao's China and assimilation in 1950s Paris, these artist-writers delineate character and plot with their singular styles. See how Krzysztof Gawronkiewicz and Grzegorz Janusz, Mazen Kerbaj, Li Kunwu and Philippe Ôtié, Nawel Louerrad, Héctor G. Oesterheld and Solano Lopez, Roannie and Oko,and Jérôme Ruillier make every picture tell a story.  WWB contributor Rutu Modan talks with Meg Storey about writing comics in Israel. Elsewhere, we present seven new poems by Vénus Khoury-Ghata, winner of the 2011 Prix Goncourt de poésie.

In the second installment of our World Through the Eyes of Writers column, in which established writers recommend new and emerging international authors, Korean writer Jo Kyung Ran introduces Hye-Young Pyun's “O Cuniculi.”

A Necessary Distance from Reality: An Interview with Rutu Modan
By Meg Storey
Rutu Modan is a rarity. One of the few established comics artists in Israel, she is also one of the few established female comics artists in the world. After graduating from Bezalel Academy of Art and…
Dead
By Vénus Khoury-Ghata
the mother looked like the linden tree in the square like the wood of the table on which she wrote our faces like the log that didn’t sweat or complain about the smoke dead she began to avoid us…
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
As night became talkative
By Vénus Khoury-Ghata
we were lent a window on a fragment of the world We we re the house and the road that led to the house The mother moved the door each time a train went by and at each procession toward     the…
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Her apron drawn on her skin
By Vénus Khoury-Ghata
the mother sent us out in the street naked Walnut husks served us for ink Fences we’d jumped were the pages we leafed through Euphoria in the evening when she multiplied her arms two to embrace…
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
O. Cuniculus
By Hye-Young Pyun
A rabbit. He turned at the sound of rustling in the bushes and spotted a ball of white fluff. What he’d mistaken for a white dog was staring at him with red eyes. He wouldn’t have known it…
Translated from Korean by Sora Kim-Russell
Multilingual
It was a November of bitter rain and snow blackened by use
By Vénus Khoury-Ghata
we filed the dead leaves by size to ease the task of the forest that was absent for     reasons known only to itselfThe parents had left with the doorWe mistook puddles for creekspebbles…
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
God, the mother claimed, is behind every tree in the forest
By Vénus Khoury-Ghata
his right shoulder lower than his leftheavy with rocky snowfalls from such enduranceIt’s his motionless breath that fissures our walls in the night when one winter hands   power over to…
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
When did their language mingle with ours
By Vénus Khoury-Ghata
so my brother spoke the words of the arbutusso the mother thickened her sauces with the ash tree’s black resin The female branches made off with the laundry on our linesthe young shoots leapt…
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
Necessary or True Happenstances: An Introduction to the Work of Hye Young-Pyun
By Jo Kyung Ran
“O. Cuniculus” is featured in Hye Young-Pyun’s third collection of short stories, Evening Courtship, for which she was awarded the prestigious Dong-in Literature Prize last year. The…
Translated from Korean by Heinz Insu Fenkl
How to find the mother when her face disappeared behind the hills
By Vénus Khoury-Ghata
How to find the mother when her face disappeared behind the hills leaving us a body without contours two packets of cold for the armpits white grass for the pubis   Gone off with her friend the fire…
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
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