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Does International Literature Make Us Better Travelers?

January 2020

This month, we’re engaging one of the more pressing questions facing the literary sphere. Reading, it is commonly averred, can make us better versions of ourselves. Without ceding that notion, we ask a different version of it: can international literature make us better travelers?

Our debate includes contributions from four writers who bring wildly different perspectives: M. Lynx Qualey writes about Arabic literature and translation issues; Tomaso Biancardi is an Italian editor and literary translator living in Istanbul; Emmanuel Iduma is a Nigerian writer, editor, publisher, and art critic; and Shahnaz Habib is a US-based Indian writer and translator. Together, they invite us to question our roles as readers, writers, translators, and editors, and perhaps even help us to begin to arrive at an answer to our question.