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Writing That Mattered in 2022

January 2023

67.180.5
Textile sample book, ca. 1840–50. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of the Estate of Benjamin E. Marks, 1967.

As we venture into 2023, we’re taking a moment to look back at the essays, stories, and poems that helped us better understand some of the most significant global issues and events of the past year, including the war in Ukraine and the ongoing protests in Iran.

Black Persian text on a white background
Photo by Zia Nabavi on Instagram
In Conversation with the Prison
By Zia Nabavi
He needed a phone more than anyone in our prison ward.
Translated from Persian by Poupeh Missaghi
A woman in a pink sari walks in the street in front of an apartment building
Photo by Akshar Dave on Unsplash
Writing in Troubled Times
By Geetanjali Shree
Fiction came to us from the West. Creativity did not.
Dramatic clouds over a mountain and ocean in Puerto Rico
Photo by Rick Lipsett on Unsplash
Onto Dust We Shall Come
By Manuel Ramos Otero
I return to the world as I depart, / having birthed another phantom, / a dweller of nebulous coasts, / a brief enemy of metaphors.
Translated from Spanish by Cristina Pérez Díaz
Two log cabins, one with a grass roof, in a field next to the water
I, Argus fin, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Sharing Stories: A Brief Introduction to Sámi Literary History
By Mathilde Magga
For Sámi literature to continue playing its essential role in our culture and to expand its benefits, we need more writers, readers, and translators, which is impossible without support—both financially and through the education system.
Jenny Bhatt (left) and Rita Kothari (right)
On the Evolution and Craft of Gujarati Literature in Translation
By Jenny Bhatt
Jenny Bhatt and Dr. Rita Kothari talk about translation as a site of democratic aspirations and the state of Gujarati translation in India and beyond.
A person pours tea into cups alongside pastries on a table
Photo copyright © Darren Byler
Translation as Transgression: Bringing the Uyghur Novel The Backstreets into English
By Darren Byler
In 2014, translating Uyghur knowledge into English felt like a subversive act in itself.
whitewashed exterior of santo crist crhuch in veracruz mexico
© Alejandro Borbolla. Used under Creative Commons license.
Life’s Not Worth a Thing
By Fernanda Melchor
He was as cool as ice, the blue-eyed motherfucker even offered us a drink.
Translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes
Portrait of Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk
Photo copyright © Karpati&Zarewicz/ZAiKS
Ognosia
By Olga Tokarczuk
We will need new maps as well as the courage and humor of travelers who won’t hesitate to stick their heads outside the sphere of the world-up-to-this-point, beyond the horizon of existing dictionaries and encyclopedias.
Translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft
Mirror over Water at Sunset
Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash
We Only Live Twice
By Adel Tincelin
The transworld was so beautiful, so vast! There was so much to explore!
Translated from French by Evan McGorray
Multimedia
September-2022-International-Translation-Day-Feature
From left to right: Nicholas Glastonbury, Sawad Hussain, Yilin Wang, Stefan Tobler
What Comes after #NameTheTranslator?
By Yilin Wang, Stefan Tobler, Sawad Hussain & Nicholas Glastonbury
When we celebrate the increasing visibility of translation, we should also ask about what languages and literatures—and, consequently, what human experiences—are afforded visibility.
There’s No Getting Out
By Olga Bragina
we won't recognize this city anymore
Translated from Russian by Elina Alter
Multilingual
February 23, 2022
By Danyil Zadorozhnyi
“second time I’ve lost my home,” she utters with hatred / “officially, this time”
Translated from Ukrainian by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler & Yuliya Charnyshova
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