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The covers of the ten books featured in the gift guide
Your 2022 Holiday Gift Guide to Reading in Translation
By Isabella Corletto
Ten recent books in translation that the readers in your life are sure to enjoy this holiday season.
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.
The covers of The King of India, Dogs of Summer, Yoga, Three Streets, Boulder, and A Summer Day...
The Watchlist: August 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends new and exciting books in translation from Lebanon, China, Spain, Japan, and France.
July 2022 Poetry Collection Feature
8 Poetry Collections in Translation to Read in 2022
By Words Without Borders
Recent and forthcoming poetry in translation from Mexico, South Korea, Croatia, Haiti, and more.
The book covers of Policing the City, Scattered All Over the Earth, Palestine +100, The Way Spring...
The Watchlist: March 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends noteworthy new books translated from Arabic, Chinese, Danish, French, and Japanese.
The Tofu-Maker
By Shen Fuyu
Around the time we were in second grade, Buckethead and I beat a snake to death.
Translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang
Toward Our Common Destruction: Humans and the Environment
By Eric M. B. Becker
The protagonist of this month’s work is the natural world in its multitudes.
By Yu Jian
O, it is a defeated god, approaching the dusk of time.
Translated from Chinese by Xin Xu
Tiananmen 1989: Our Shattered Hopes
By Lun Zhang, Adrien Gombeaud & Améziane
Not a day goes by that I don't go back to Tiananmen Square.
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Wuhan Lockdown Diary
By Guo Jing
It was not my plan to start writing a diary, let alone keep doing it for seventy-seven days.
Translated from Chinese by Hongwei Bao
Forced Confessions: On True Crime Writing
By Susan Harris
The pieces here map the translation of event into prose—the creation of true crime writing.
A picture of a choppy ocean
Photo by John Towner on Unsplash
Massacre in the Pacific: A Personal Account
By Du Qiang
It's not a crime to kill someone on the high seas, you know.
Translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman & Emily Jones
Unfamiliar Riverbank: Contemporary Chinese Religious Poetry
By Eleanor Goodman
The Tang Dynasty poets translated by the Beat Generation poets are often associated with the totality of Chinese poetry.
Phone Call
By Tahir Hamut
On a mattress / amidst an armful of hair / a beautiful woman tosses and turns
Translated from Uyghur by Joshua L. Freeman
A Night Sama
By Tahir Hamut
Their wailing won’t let me sleep, won’t let me sleep . . .
Translated from Uyghur by Darren Byler & Anonymous Uyghur Translator
I Want to Walk Toward the Altar of the Lord
By Li Hao
my body, / like a spoon, here on this earth, sweetly scoops out / my brain.
Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman
By Li Hao
I see your unfamiliar riverbank / and walk toward you.
Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman
The Queer “I”: The Tenth Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
All the pieces are told in the first person, lending intimacy and immediacy to the events they describe.
Scissors, Shining
By Lu Min
Oh, Master Song, who would have guessed your heart was hard as steel?
Translated from Chinese by Michael Day
The World at Home: US Writing in Translation
By Susan Harris
This issue is not a departure but a continuation.
After the Inferno
By Zhang Xinxin
“I’m the Girl-Homer with her eyes wide open.”
Translated from Chinese by Helen Wang
By Ying Chen
He knew he was a tyrant in his own way.
Translated from French by Pamela Casey
In Praise of Nonconformity: The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
Behind the bigotry and hyperbole lurk the fear of the unknown, the threat to the status quo.
By Mu Cao
I suddenly realized that he was wearing a wig and the skin beneath his clothing was as coarse as tree bark.
Translated from Chinese by Scott E. Myers
Uyghur Modernist Poetry: Three Contemporary Writers
By Joshua L. Freeman
Modernist poetry burst onto the Uyghur literary scene thirty years ago.
Chronicle of an Execution
By Ghojimuhemmed Muhemmed
Water in the blood, bread in the flesh, vows in the bone
Translated from Uyghur by Joshua L. Freeman
Against Tradition
By Osmanjan Muhemmed Pas’an
I was eyemate to a blind one
Translated from Uyghur by Joshua L. Freeman
The Past
By Tahir Hamut
The world made no promises to anyone
Translated from Uyghur by Joshua L. Freeman
“The Fair-haired Princess” and Serious Literature
By Can Xue
An advanced modern reader acts like a detective.
Translated from Chinese by Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping
Horsemeat of the Brothel
By Wang Bang
A “new girl” is always more desirable to the regular clients.
A Grapefruit
By Liu Xia
A life without pain / is an unpicked / fruit: it rots.
Translated from Chinese by Ming Di & Jennifer Stern
One Bird and Another
By Liu Xia
We kept the windows / open, remembering: bird.
Translated from Chinese by Ming Di & Jennifer Stern
By Liu Xia
The lonely word / is a terminal patient.
Translated from Chinese by Ming Di & Jennifer Stern
The Lonely Word: Three Poems by Liu Xia
By Madeline Earp
Can words cross these thresholds, and offer a form of escape to those in confinement?
The Old Cicada
By Can Xue
He saw the leering youth approach.
Translated from Chinese by Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping
The Shades who Periscope Through Flowers to the Sky
By Sun Yisheng
“If you don’t go home, there’ll be bloodshed.”
Translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman
Awakening the Individual Consciousness
By Cui Weiping
For a long time in this country, the term “individual” has carried connotations of dangerousness and even criminality.
Translated from Chinese by Kyle Fry
This Country Must Break Apart
By Liao Yiwu
We are no longer poets; we have become witnesses of history.
Translated from Chinese by Siobhan O’Leary & Sophie Schlöndorff
from “Black Rock”
By Yang Xianhui
I had heard that Kou-er’s mom had eaten her youngest son.
Translated from Chinese by Wenguang Huang
November 2012 Banned Chinese Writers Sharing Xie Peng Duncan Jepson Feature
By Xie Peng & Duncan Jepson
I wanted it too . . . I would have given anything
An Interview with Yan Lianke
By Chenxin Jiang
China is a great environment for an author, because such implausible things happen in everyday life.
Translated from Chinese by the author
The Man with the Knife
By Chen Xiwo
He was a famous poet, so they almost all submitted.
Translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman
from “Memories of the Cowshed”
By Ji Xianlin
I knew that Zhang’s weapon must be a bicycle chain wrapped in rubber.
Translated from Chinese by Chenxin Jiang
Last of the Aristocrats
By Zhang Yihe
The Cultural Revolution created two extremes for China.
Translated from Chinese by Alice Xin Liu
An Interview with Chan Koon-chung
By Chenxin Jiang
There is indeed no place like China–but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Translated from Chinese by the author
Death Fugue
By Sheng Keyi
Finally they dismembered him and hung his head on the city walls for a week.
Translated from Chinese by Shelly Bryant
The Story of a Homosexual: An Interview with Ni Dongxue
By Liao Yiwu
Just hold my hands tightly. I won’t force you to kiss me or do anything.
Translated from Chinese by Wenguang Huang
An Interview with Wu Wenjian
By Liao Yiwu
I was nobody, like a piece of sesame in a big pot of soup.
Translated from Chinese by Wenguang Huang
From “Prison Memoirs”
By Wang Dan
If you happen to be behind bars, you should keep talking . . .
Translated from Chinese by Wenguang Huang
Love’s Labor
By Ye Mi
You noticed the way she came over, her chest out, eyes narrowed? She's interested.
Translated from Chinese by Hu Ying
The Bane of My Existence
By Can Xue
“Can Xue doesn’t trust reason.”—Ha Jin
Translated from Chinese by Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping
Poems for Parting
By Du Mu
Too much love / somehow became / no love at all
Translated from Chinese by David Young & Jiann I. Lin
Poem to the Tune “Pure Peace”
By Li Bai
Spring / wind through the threshold
Translated from Chinese by Jeffrey Yang
Two or Three Things from the Past
By Yu Jian
he had counterrevolutionary thoughts had been hiding / in our army said his old comrades / whom I'd been calling uncles
Translated from Chinese by Wang Ping & Ron Padgett
Appointment in K City
By Li Xiao
The letter ran: Let's make an appointment to meet. Sunday is okay. I must see you.
Translated from Chinese by Zhu Hong
By Yu Hua
My father used to be a surgeon. He was strong and healthy, and talked in a resonant voice.
Translated from Chinese by Allan H. Barr
Timid as a Mouse
By Yu Hua
Those who are afraid of tigers, raise your hands.
Translated from Chinese by Allan H. Barr