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an image of an old TV that is turned off
Photo by PJ Gal-Szabo on Unsplash
Local News
By Karosh Taha
Karosh Taha’s In the Belly of the Queen is out in April with V&Q Books. In this excerpt, Amal contemplates her father’s new family in Kurdistan and what her life could have looked like if he hadn’t left Germany.
Translated from German by Grashina Gabelmann
A 1960s black and white photograph of a street in Rostock, East Germany
FORTEPAN / Nagy Gyula, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Five O’Clock Train to Rostock
By Brigitte Reimann
This month, Transit Books publishes Siblings, East German author Brigitte Reimann’s first novel to appear in English. In this excerpt, the protagonist discovers that her brother and his wife have defected to the West.
Translated from German by Lucy Jones
The covers of the books featured in the list
The Best Books of 2022—And What We’re Looking Forward to in 2023
By Words Without Borders
Our staff, contributors, and board members share their favorite translated books of the year and the titles they’re looking forward to in 2023.
The covers of the books featured in the Watchlist
The Watchlist: December 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends exciting new books in translation from Mauritius, Romania, Japan, Spain, Germany, and Puerto Rico.
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.
Portraits of Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mitsutani
The National Book Award Interviews: Yoko Tawada & Margaret Mitsutani
By the Editors
We’re living in a world where both languages and people are constantly in flux. In this novel, I wanted to focus on a small group of people making their way through that world.
Portraits of Saša Stanišić and Damion Searls
Left: Saša Stanišić, photo by Katja Sämann; Right: Damion Searls, photo by Beowulf Sheehan
The National Book Award Interviews: Saša Stanišić & Damion Searls
By the Editors
I started working on [the book] in 2016 when my grandmother was showing the first serious signs of dementia. I wanted to create an archive of sorts, in which her life was told in stories.
The cover of Mithu Sanyal's Identitti alongside a portrait of translator Alta L. Price
Photo credit: Donnelly Marks
Translating Identity Politics
By Jaeyeon Yoo
When I first read Identitti, I thought, “Is the author using this in earnest or is this meant to be funny?”
Black and white image of Berlin's Potzdamer Platz in the 1930s.
Sludge G, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Toward a Vision of Post-COVID Urban Space: Joseph Roth’s City of Miniatures
By Alexander Wells
Reading Roth’s Berlin miniatures, a sense of the dynamic between sociability and justice feels essential to the urban experience.
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.
Pas de Deux
By Libuše Moníková
Being with you is like being on an island, a quarantine island.
Translated from German by Anne Posten
Peripatetics: The Essays of Jazmina Barrera, Karen Villeda, and Mariana Oliver
By Charlotte Whittle
These are essays with a roving gaze whose authors travel through geographic and intellectual spaces with the same ease with which we used to walk around in New York.
Özdamar’s Tongue
By Mariana Oliver
Özdamar knew that arriving in a country with no return ticket meant voluntarily surrendering to an indeterminate foreignness.
Translated from Spanish by Julia Sanches
Deceptive Simplicity: International Children’s Literature
By Daniel Hahn
I often feel that adults forget what children’s stories are capable of.
Heaven Can Wait
By Angelika Glitz
“Look, this forklift even has an electric motor.”
Translated from German by Melody Shaw
Six Proposals for Participation in a Conversation about Bread
By Rasha Abbas
“That’s what we get for supporting Communism: standing in line for this black loaf.”
Translated from Arabic by Alice Guthrie
Road Stories: International Writing on Travel
By Susan Harris
Some of the writers here document their own trips, while others invent characters and send them on the road.
A Pun, an Idiom, and an Expletive Walk into a Bar: International Humor
By Susan Harris
When we think of translating humor, we may think in terms of capturing jokes.
Frau Röntgen’s Hand
By Zsófia Bán
Oh God. The woman has vaporized.
Translated from Hungarian by Jim Tucker
Past, Future, Present: International Graphic Novels, Volume XII
By Susan Harris
Though much of the art here may be in black and white, the topics addressed are anything but.
The I-Formula
By Thomas von Steinaecker & Barbara Yelin
Now, suddenly, everything was perfectly logical.
Translated by Edna McCown
There Is No Map: The New Italian(s)
By Alta L. Price
Who is Italian, what is the Italian language, and who deserves to write in it?
Three Poems from “Tattoos”
By Eva Taylor
on the atlas of my skin / your names
Translated from Italian by Olivia E. Sears
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.
Small-town Novella
By Ronald M. Schernikau
In the locker rooms, wild combat rages more openly than elsewhere.
Translated from German by Lucy Jones
From “Staying Gone”
By Ulrike Ulrich
She wonders why she’s doing this to herself. Is it supposed to be some kind of test?
Translated from German by Anne Posten
Found on the Tracks: European Writing on Train Travel
By Anne Posten
Trains . . . unite many dichotomies: the exotic and the banal, freedom and luxury, nostalgia and modernity, the possible and the real.
Introduction: Emerging German Writers
By Katy Derbyshire
Like many other literatures, contemporary German writing is part reaction against previous generations and part continuation of traditions.
You Turn Your Head, I Turn My Head
By Finn-Ole Heinrich
Do I build a tree house without you?
Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire
The Legal Haziness of a Marriage
By Olga Grjasnowa
Ten days was too long for a conversion and too short for a re-education.
Translated from German by Eva Bacon
Rickshaw Diaries
By Stephanie Bart
Anyone wearing such a provocative pair of lederhosen is asking for trouble and shouldn’t be surprised to get it.
Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire
After Half a Life
By Deniz Utlu
Call me Beatrice, she says. I wasn’t sent by any god.
Translated from German by Jake Schneider
In Praise of an American Egg Wholesaler
By Francis Nenik
American chicken breasts will keep Europe at peace!”
Translated from German by Amanda DeMarco
By Isabelle Lehn
If you’re dead you can go back to the barracks.
Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire
Maidenhands and Monologues
By Marianna Salzmann
I roll myself up on the floor and purr like a cat.
Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire
By Noemi Schneider
He was an officer in an elite unit, and I don’t really want to know what that means.
Translated from German by Julie Winter
as a mouse
By Simone Kornappel
lower the needle each time only in the verysame spotspot
Translated from German by Jake Schneider
Lessons from the Human Zoo
By Bettina Suleiman
How many werewolves have there been since 1850?
Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire
No Light in the Windows
By Zoran Drvenkar
Karim believed in Coke the way other people believed in Jesus and Mary.
Translated from German by Chantal Wright
The Gold Watch
By Mely Kiyak
''The clock inside has no numbers, it has only memories.''
Translated from German by Rebecca Heier
The Bed
By Vladimir Vertlib
All decent Jews go to America.
Translated from German by David Burnett
By Andreas Eschbach
No one seriously considered the idea that the world’s oil deposits might be limited.
Translated from German by Anne Posten
Pulse beyond the Horizon
By Anja Kampmann
For six years Arabian Drilling has clocked my time.
Translated from German by Annie Janusch
A Time for Jokes
By Finn-Ole Heinrich
Who wants a disabled girlfriend?
Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire
From “El último lobo”
By László Krasznahorkai
He was doing nothing, not a damn thing, simply drifting, spending hours sitting in the Sparschwein with his first glass of Sternburg at his side [ . . . ]
Translated from Hungarian by George Szirtes
A Classical Education
By Saša Stanišiç
And Mister Mozart didn't fasten his seatbelt either, the little monster tattled.
Translated from German by Saša Stanišiç & Janet Hendrickson
Other People
By Franziska Gerstenberg
You're not going to cause me any trouble now, are you, the conductor said.
Translated from German by Edna McCown
Campo Santo
By W. G. Sebald
The dead were thought of as extremely touchy, envious, vengeful, quarrelsome, and cunning.
Translated from German by Anthea Bell