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Black Markets

September 2013

This month we’re covering black markets: those underground exchanges of contraband that power parallel economies throughout the world. Goods both human and inanimate are traded in these shadowy venues, where everything from kidneys to diamonds is available, often at horrific cost.  In fiction and essays, Wang Bang, Abdelilah Hamdouchi, Vladimir Lorchenkov, Jason Miklian, Dominique Manotti, Dmitri Novosolov, Edgard Telles Ribeiro, and Ye Yonglie explore clandestine systems around the world. 

My Shadow Library: A Chinese Author on Book Piracy
By Ye Yonglie
To date, I have collected fifty-four titles supposedly written by me.
Translated from Chinese by Alice Xin Liu
from “The Good Life Elsewhere”
By Vladimir Lorchenkov
As for the kidney, I’ll slip it in there myself.
Translated from Russian by Ross Ufberg
“Let’s Deal”: A Conversation with a Diamond Smuggler
By Jason Miklian
Retail customers rarely consider provenance an issue worthy of scrutiny before buying.
from “Za”
By Jean-Luc Raharimanana
“They are saying that this man is a fridge full of organs!”
Translated from French by Sophie Lewis
By Wang Bang
She’s too young, we can’t keep her.
Translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman
By Dmitri Novoselov
The ex-con took him out to the platform of the car and with one deft movement . . .
Translated from Russian by Will Firth
Señor Capitán
By Edgard Telles Ribeiro
The fishing boat could hold thirty passengers out on the deck.
Translated from Portuguese by Kim M. Hastings
A Relentless War
By Dominique Manotti
They immediately request permission to take samples in order to trace the source of the drug.
Translated from French by Ros Schwartz
Bled Dry
By Abdelilah Hamdouchi
They were under arrest because they didn’t have enough money to do business with the cops.
Translated from Arabic by Jonathan Smolin