Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information

Literature From The "Axis Of Evil": Writing From Iran, Iraq, North Korea And Other Enemy Nations

September 2006

How many Americans, even the most bookish, have ever read the work of a contemporary writer from Iran, Iraq, or North Korea, the countries George W. Bush designated the “Axis of Evil”? Words Without Borders is proud to be among the first to offer American readers a selection of stories and poems, most of which have never before been translated into English, from these and other nations currently considered “enemies,” both in this issue and in our new anthology, LITERATURE FROM THE “AXIS OF EVIL” (The New Press).

In concert with the launch of our first print publication, we offer our readers bonus features online:

“Love’s Turn,” Mohsen Makhmbalaf (Iran): a ghazal in the form of a screenplay

“Words,” Salah Al-Hamdani (Iraq): an apostrophe to Baghdad

“Sprouts,” Zakariya Tamer (Syria): the schoolmaster as dictator

“A Nation Behind Bars.” Khalid Oways (Sudan): “Art is forbidden. It calls for immorality and degradation.”

“Making of Paris,” Ernesto René Rodriguez (Cuba): a road trip across Europe

from Límites de Alcanía, Rito Ramón Aroche (Cuba): experimental prose poetry

“To Offer My Heart,” Nancy Alonso (Cuba): the sound of the spirit read aloud

And interviews with advisory editors, relevant back issues (from July/August, September and October of 2003), and our extensive archives of works from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Cuba.

Finally, Words Without Borders salutes the life and work of Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006).