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The covers of the books featured in the August Watchlist: The Details, Lojman, Wenling's, A Practical...
The Watchlist: August 2023
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends new and exciting reads from Angola, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.
A bookshelf filled with old books
Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash
My Saint’s Day
By Luis García Montero
I guess that’s one approach to pitching an encyclopedia sale.
Translated from Spanish by Katie King
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.
Berriozabaleta Fountain, Elorrio, Spain
Joxe Aranzabal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Household Matters
By Kirmen Uribe
Grandma Susana wore long skirts, and she even drank vinegar to make her face paler, as a mortification of her beauty.
Translated from Basque by Elizabeth Macklin
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.
Mara Faye Lethem alongside the Catalan and English covers of Learning to Talk to Plants
Birthing a Translation: The Author as Midwife
By Samantha Schnee
I’ve always felt that my commitment is to the text, not the author, but it is wonderful to be able to ask for and receive permission.
The covers of the books featured in the Watchlist: The Blunder, Carnality, Of Saints and Miracles,...
The Watchlist: July 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends exciting new books from Cameroon, Mexico, Japan, Spain, Sweden, and Kazakhstan.
Portrait of writer Marta Orriols
Photo copyright © Ariana Arnes
Writing the Universal
By Samantha Schnee
I think that people rediscovered reading in that period of calm when everything was standing still, and no one could go out or do anything.
Translated from Spanish by the author
Like Two Drops of Water
By Sergi Pàmies
Tempo, for instance: one drop every so often, always the exact same so often, like a time trial in a bicycle race.
Translated from Catalan by Lisa M. Dillman
By Marta Orriols
A headband, you say? You’re ridiculous.
Translated from Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem
A hand hovering over a pill organizer filled with multicolored pills
Photo by Laurynas Mereckas on Unsplash
By Eva Baltasar
Having a kid is the same as enrolling in a lifetime plan of suffering.
Translated from Catalan by Julia Sanches
The White Tablecloth
By Irene Solà
Eight years and I’m still not over it.
Translated from Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem
Transcending the Human Viewpoint
By Madeleine Feeny
I allowed myself to be very playful and unafraid, and to try everything.
Various wooden letter blocks
Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash
9 Writers to Read on International Mother Language Day
By the Editors of Words Without Borders
We highlight 9 writers working in their heritage languages, from Galician and Cebuano to Guaraní and Kaaps.
An International Menagerie: Animal Stories
By Susan Harris
Some of the animals here possess the power of speech, deploying it to often subversive ends.
Nuestra Ciudad: Writing the City in Spanish
By Ulises Gonzales
Today, a young writer working in Spanish arrives in New York City to find no shortage of role models.
By Álvaro Baquero-Pecino
On a bad night, a train car on the red line takes more than half an hour to appear, and no fewer than twenty-one minutes to traverse the eleven stations to the southern tip of Manhattan.
Translated from Spanish by Sarah Pollack
The Common Good
By Sara Cordón
All she can think about is why it ever occurred to her to dress like this in public.
Translated from Spanish by Robin Myers
The Incomparable Ones
By Juan Milà
It is essential that we understand comps and are aware of their limitations.
Alberte Merlo’s Horse
By Álvaro Cunqueiro
So began many long months of conversation between Alberte and his horse.
Translated from Galician by Scott Shanahan
By Antón Lopo
I suspect something in Kinue / reminds him of his own life.
Translated from Galician by Erín Moure
Climates: On Environment
By Susan Harris
Global warming manifests in obvious ways.
The Water Man
By Ariadna Castellarnau
“Get it through your head: God and me, we’re the same person.”
Translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
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.
Yaquina Head
By Jazmina Barrera
Robert Louis Stevenson says that to tour lighthouses is “to visit past centuries.”
Translated from Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
Shelter in Poems: Poetry to Break the Isolation of Social Distancing
By the Editors of Words Without Borders
Words Without Borders is leaning into poetry's ability to fill the void of isolation.
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.
The Pain of Others
By Miguel Ángel Hernández
Twenty years ago, one Christmas Eve, my best friend killed his sister and threw himself off a cliff.
Translated from Spanish by Anna Milsom
An Apocryphal History of the Discovery of Migration, or The Sacrifice of the Pfeilstörchen
By Alba Cid
it’s awful of me to interrupt, but I just / need you to understand how certain kinds of wounds can be useful.
Translated from Galician by Jacob Rogers
The Winners of the Words Without Borders—Academy of American Poets Poem-in-Translation Contest
By the Editors of Words Without Borders
We received 717 poems from 282 poets from 87 countries translated from 55 languages.
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.
The Ingenious Gentleman of the Andes—On Translating Cervantes’s Classic into Quechua
By Lucas Iberico Lozada
His translation of Don Quixote was simply the best-known example of his decades-long effort to create a standardized literary Quechua.
Open books splayed across wall
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
New Battles for the Propriety of Language
By Marcelo Cohen
The Spanish and I said very different things using almost the same words.
Translated from Spanish by Frances Riddle
Joyful, Painful, Surreal: Life As a Parent
By Karen M. Phillips
The intensity of the parent-child relationship, with its high emotional stakes, life-and-death responsibility, and inescapable physical proximity, makes for powerful stories.
Cardinal Points: Four Basque Poets
By Amaia Gabantxo
Oral and written literary traditions in Basque follow two very distinct paths, both very rich and alive.
Hand 3
By Juan Mari Lekuona
Everything—including life— / ends when the hands give up.
Translated from Basque by Amaia Gabantxo
Just Dinner, but Oh, What a Feast
By Rohan Kamicheril
Though food may fail to broker communication, this is often one of its major supposed roles.
A Memory
By Miren Agur Meabe
Our knees were trusting doves; the ribbons in our hair, delicious bait.
Translated from Basque by Amaia Gabantxo
The Fall of Icarus
By Joseba Sarrionandia
Almost no one cares for the wounds of others.
Translated from Basque by Amaia Gabantxo
Lounging tiger
Photo by Carolina Munemasa on Unsplash
Life with a Tiger
By Harkaitz Cano
Hardly anyone comes to visit when you live with a tiger.
Translated from Basque by Amaia Gabantxo
All Desert Islands Are the Same
By Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
I have always thought it a gastronomical barbarity to eat bacalao fresh.
Translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
A Literature on the Rise
By Jordi Nopca
Catalan literature’s survival has been hard-won in a context that remains unfavorable economically, socially, and politically.
Translated from Catalan by Megan Berkobien
ways of knowing and other poems
By Maria Cabrera
i know the fear in your eyes at dawn. and the crackle of flames, the hidden creaking of the woods, the madness of the birds beating paths in the air.
Translated from Catalan by Mary Ann Newman
You’ve Likely Never Been to a Party This Big
By Borja Bagunyà
In a house like this you imagined all the stories had happy endings.
Translated from Catalan by Scott Shanahan
We Could Have Studied Less
By Marta Rojals
We swallowed up everything they told us . . . We were the pride of our homes.
Translated from Catalan by Alicia Maria Meier
The Street
By Mercè Ibarz
On the street, in Alleyway S, the olive tree still grows.
Translated from Catalan by Martha Tennent
Two Poems
By Francesc Garriga
the voices of a body spent / venture new rhymes, / i can’t fathom what they mean to say
Translated from Catalan by Adrian Nathan West
The Foreign Daughter
By Najat El Hachmi
I’ve chosen a life where I should be illiterate like my mother.
Translated from Catalan by Peter Bush
My Uncle
By Pep Puig
That thing about the bikini would get the gang all riled up.
Translated from Catalan by María Cristina Hall
The World on Stage: Micro-Plays in Translation
By Sarah Maitland
It is this ready route to the public, and the immediacy of response to some of the most urgent questions of our time, that gives microtheater its enduring appeal.
No Direction
By Miguel Alcantud & Santiago Molero
“You make everything I do seem so senseless.”
Translated from Spanish by Sarah Maitland
Yiddish Literature and the Transnational Republic of Jewish Letters
By Sebastian Schulman
Yiddish literature occupies the precarious position of an informed outsider.
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.
Three Microfictions
By Lawrence Schimel
It wasn’t a question of my boss finding out I’m gay . . .
Translated from Spanish by Sandra Kingery
Adam Gerber’s Good-bye
By Melcion Mateu
I open my eyes and see the world
Translated from Catalan by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
No Euskera
By Ramiro Pinilla
Bilbao rose to meet them, swathed in stagnant drizzle.
Translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
By Maximilien Le Roy & Soulman
You let Jews into your home? The people who killed your brother!
Translated by Mercedes Claire Gilliom
Poem to the One in Far-Off Lands
By Juan Carlos Mestre
He works in order to return.
Translated from Spanish by Jeremy Paden
The Queer Issue V: Impressions from a Passing Train
By Rohan Kamicheril
The appeal of the Queer Issue is in seeing that great ambition writ small, in discovering the swarm of details and experience that cohere into the big picture of world writing.