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A large, shallow river with pines on the opposite bank and mountains in the distance
Nameri National Park. Photo by Debuapriyo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Smell of Bamboo Blossoms
By Yeshe Dorje Thongchi
The natural world brings both profit and ominous change to a village in this narrative by prominent Assamese writer Yeshe Dorje Thongchi, a finalist for the Armory Square Prize for South Asian Literature in Translation.
Translated from Assamese by Aruni Kashyap
A rocky stream in a tropical forest
Photo by Livestart Stiven on Unsplash
Catalina Loango
By Bernardino Pérez Miranda
A woman is captured by a malevolent water spirit in Bernardino Pérez Miranda’s retelling of a folktale from San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia, named a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity site in 2008.
Translated from Palenquero by Armin Schwegler
An empty train tunnel curves into the distance
Photo by Emile Guillemot on Unsplash
By Han Song
Prize-winning science-fiction writer Han Song imagines a train station turned uncontrollably reproductive.
Translated from Chinese by Carson Ramsdell
Damascus street
© Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mohammad and Youssef
By Omar Youssef Souleimane
Mohammad is torn between fear and excitement. He doesn’t know this man. What if he’s an informant?
Translated from French by Ghada Mourad
Vines on a beige wall
Photo by Belle Hunt on Unsplash
The Writer’s Wife
By Maru Ayase
“She has an innocence, a purity of mind like a delicate glass vessel, untainted by soiled ideas or thoughts.”
Translated from Japanese by Haydn Trowell
Bright green fabric
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
Man of Satin
By Souhaib Ayoub
He smoked incessantly. I watched him with a silent longing.
Translated from Arabic by Sharon Grosso
Rivière Péribonka
Johny-le-cowboy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The Indian
By Michel Jean
With no one around me but people who were prisoners of their land, I had suddenly come across someone who was free.
Translated from French by Susan Ouriou
Stray dogs
Photo by Heshan Weeramanthri on Unsplash
Parliament of Dogs
By Nasera Sharma
Seeing their community divided into two camps, some dogs developed a strange arrogance.
Translated from Hindi by Akshaj Awasthi
Black, gray, and white storm clouds
Photo by Harshit Sharma on Unsplash
A Second of Stillness
By Jintu Gitarth
Under a boundless sky stretching across the horizon, enveloped in a silence spanning miles, Diganta sat beside his favorite person.
Translated from Assamese by Harsita Hiya
Two men's shadows
Photo by Robert V. Ruggiero on Unsplash
A Kiss between Boys
By Victor Heringer
They all eyeballed one another, weighing up the possibility of a mass brawl.
Translated from Portuguese by James Young
A row of violins
Photo by Umutcan Günüç on Unsplash
By Verena Rossbacher
He laid the hairs out in front of him on the kitchen table, stretched out straight and flat next to each other like the strings of an instrument.
Translated from German by Anne Posten
Cobwebs outside of a house
Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash
Morning Procession
By Amit Dutta
Everybody knew that reading strange books was Shaam’s only hobby.
Translated from Hindi by Vaibhav Sharma
Person in front of a blue city
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash
The March 4th Incident
By Sabda Armandio
Though the girl’s mom had died five years earlier, her consciousness had been uploaded into a robot body with a tube-shaped head and a torso cluttered with silly refrigerator magnets.
Translated from Indonesian by Lara Norgaard
Empty train tracks disappearing into the horizon in a dry landscape
Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash
The Kettledrum
By Siddique Alam
In the forest, between the acacia, mulberry, and stinging nettle bushes, where snakes shed their skin, she searched for Mangru’s footprints.
Translated from Urdu by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
An incomplete drawing of an elephant. Only the head and trunk are fully filled in.
"Elephant and Rider," attributed to Hashim, circa 1640. Public domain. The Met Museum, Purchase, Friends of Islamic Art Gifts, 2010.
Naima’s Elephant
By Shalash
Nuwayra, despite the precision of her intelligence reports, did not advance a satisfactory explanation for how Naima acquired this elephant.
Translated from Arabic by Luke Leafgren
A dark kitchen table and chairs seen through a doorway with a single light above them
Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash
Anna and Her Daughter’s Partner
By Laksmi Pamuntjak
“In Indonesia there are only two categories,” you replied. “Pacar atau suami—boyfriend or husband.
Translated from Indonesian by Annie Tucker
A dark window at twilight
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
The Guest
By Fatma Shafii
It was highly unusual for him to be this late.
Translated from Swahili by Hassan Kassim
an image of an old TV that is turned off
Photo by PJ Gal-Szabo on Unsplash
Local News
By Karosh Taha
The German language felt like a conspiracy against my father.
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
I can still hear her faltering voice today. My mother must have been the only one who had known what Konrad was planning.
Translated from German by Lucy Jones
Two pears hang from a branch in front of a blue sky
Photo by Mario015 Medeiros on Unsplash
By Yordanka Beleva
Way back, the old Turks believed that when you die, you bequest to your nearest and dearest precisely forty sorrows.
Translated from Bulgarian by Izidora Angel
A black microphone on a stand
Photo by Ilyass SEDDOUG on Unsplash
A Village Fest
By Alisa Ganieva
“It needn’t be me. I mean . . . I . . . I’m not much of an orator.”
Translated from Russian by Will Firth
A pair of wire-rimmed glasses with a crack in one lens lying on a piece of striped fabric
Photo by Jorien Loman on Unsplash
Éva Popa
By Edina Szvoren
Rather audaciously, given her age, she wore her hair in a buzz cut on the sides and in the back.
Translated from Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet
An old ornate mansion in India with a green wrought iron gate
Photo by Vikram Nath Chouhan 🇮🇳 on Unsplash
Once Elephants Lived Here: Part 2
By Geetanjali Shree
The city murmured in the mazes of her ancient face.
Translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell
Two blue glass skyscrapers seen from below against a cloudy blue sky
Photo by Shubham Sharma on Unsplash
Once Elephants Lived Here: Part 1
By Geetanjali Shree
Here, all things old have been suppressed.
Translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell
Two distant snowmobiles driving across a snowy field while the sun sets behind snowy mountains
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
The Ear
By Ann-Helén Laestadius
She had seen the man make the sign for death, so she knew this was serious.
Translated from Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles
A pair of black leather lace-up boots in front of a white wall
Photo by Rico Van de Voorde on Unsplash
By Nilutpal Baruah
People said Bedo Bora was a foot fetishist. He was fascinated by women’s feet, they said. When you met him he stared at your feet.  
Translated from Assamese by Rashmi Baruah
Two snowy mountain peaks
Mt. Huandoy, Ancash, Peru. Inti Runa Viajero, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Another Man’s Name
By Renato Cisneros
“You don't want to appear as the father, do you?”
Translated from Spanish by Fionn Petch
A man paddles a canoe in a river at sunset
Photo by Inu Etc on Unsplash
By Madhurima Barua
The stench of country liquor assaults her. Her husband is tottering.
Translated from Assamese by Syeda Shaheen Jeenat Suhailey
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
A wagtail perching on a stick by a body of water
Photo by Nikita Nikitenko on Unsplash
A Wagtail’s Song
By Bikash Dihingia
How was it possible that there was another me buried within? And how could someone else feel his presence even before I could?
Translated from Assamese by Harsita Hiya
A hospital waiting room with green seats next to bright windows
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash
Ito Returns to Japan and Finds Herself in a Real Pinch
By Hiromi Itō
Early the next morning, I got a call from Mom. The first words out of her mouth: Will you take me to the hospital today?
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
A rusty lighter sitting in the dirt
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash
After Time
By Fahd Razy
Today, you finally saw the earth after its rebirth.
Translated from Malay by Adibah Abdullah
A dark room where only a small sliver of window lets in any light
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
A Friendly Face
By Sevgi Soysal
Just what she needed. An outing with a man just released from prison.
Translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely
Photo of a school framed by two trees
Snehrashmi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
By Varsha Adalja
“Shame on you, boys. Dullards. A girl has outdone you all.”
Translated from Gujarati by Jenny Bhatt
Several rows of colorful patterned pagnes
Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash
The Impatient
By Djaïli Amadou Amal
Love doesn’t exist before marriage, Ramla. It’s time you come back down to earth.
Translated from French by Emma Ramadan
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
A wolf sleeping in the snow
Christian Pietzsch, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Wolfskin
By Risten Sokki
When the forested valleys in Russia start filling up with snow, the wolf begins its journey from the south toward the plains in the north.
Translated from North Sámi by Olivia Lasky
fishermen sitting on a pier with boats behind them
Dmitry Makeev, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Sky of the Lost Moon
By Ty Chi Huot
I was assigned to work in the propaganda group to recruit more people to our cause.
Translated from Khmer by Rinith Taing
two rows of people playing pachinko
Tischbeinahe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Pachinko Parlor
By Elisa Shua Dusapin
“Do you know what your grandmother’s mother did to avoid being subjected to speaking Japanese at school? She sliced off part of her own tongue.”
Translated from French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
A herd of reindeer attached to a sled at sunset
Photo by Hans-Jurgen Mager on Unsplash
Polar Fire
By Moa Backe Åstot
Are there homosexual reindeer herders?
Translated from Swedish by B. J. Woodstein
Map of German East Africa
Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
German Medicine
By Abdulrazak Gurnah
Her mother was dead, she knew that, but she did not know why her aunt and her uncle were the ones who took her in.
A cobblestone street in Rwanda at sunset with a few pedestrians and motorcycle riders
Photo by Michael Muli on Unsplash
No Familiar Faces
By Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse
I had the look of a Westerner fresh off the boat, with my wrinkled trousers, tourist backpack, and it didn’t tally with my fluency in Kinyarwanda.
Translated from French by Alison Anderson
Late evening view on a bridge leading to Dutch countryside houses
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash
Welcome to the Real Holland
By Rodaan Al Galidi
When they chucked me out in the middle of the goddamn winter, you gave me your coat and seven euros.
Translated from Dutch by Jonathan Reeder
Palm trees along the shoreline in Huahine, Tahiti
Matthew Dillon from Hollywood, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Two Birthdays
By Titaua Peu
For weeks, Ma didn’t feel a shred of warmth for the baby.
Translated from French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
A rooftop in Riyadh
Photo by Rashyd . on Unsplash
Hi Maryam, It’s Arwa
By Areej Gamal
The world appeared in stages with each rung of the ladder I climbed.
Translated from Arabic by Addie Leak
Tropical forest in Guadeloupe
Photo by Tim Oun on Unsplash.
Where Dogs Bark with Their Tails
By Estelle-Sarah Bulle
As they drew nearer, knives in hand, Hilaire recognized the feverish eyes behind their scarves.
Translated from French by Julia Grawemeyer
A bust of Lenin lying on the grass
Photo by Daniil Onischenko on Unsplash
Apartment No. 9: Goodbye, Lenin!
By Oleksiy Chupa
“We toppled Lenin!” exclaimed Firman after a dramatic pause.
Translated from Ukrainian by Uilleam Blacker
A retro radio sits in focus
La radio by mariateresa toledo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
An Ordinary Monday Morning
By Boubacar Boris Diop
I’ll speak up, I’ll be fearless, and I swear to never back down until I have prevailed against the powerful trying to lock up the weak in a dark hole.
Translated from Wolof by El Hadji Moustapha Diop & Bojana Coulibaly
A fox standing in snow is facing the camera
Fox by Chrisbkes is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Pityriasis Rosea
By Jokha Alharthi
It’s because all we’ve been talking about these evenings are the old legends, and that’s what brought the fox here.
Translated from Arabic by Marilyn Booth
A sprig of berries in shadow
Photo by Dmitry Bukhantsov
A Little Hole
By Alhierd Bacharevič
They stuffed these intoxicating little spheres into their mouths and kissed the juice off of the palms of their hands.
Translated from Belarusian by Jim Dingley & Petra Reid
A black-and-white image of battered market kiosks
Photo copyright © Kseniya Fuchs
By Kseniya Fuchs
I knew I was born here and I would die here.
Translated from Ukrainian by Ali Kinsella
Something No One Else Has
By Kyung-sook Shin
San feels reassured that Namae’s body is as skinny and pathetic as her own.
Translated from Korean by Anton Hur
Ellamma Is Distressed
By Gogu Shyamala
They may even throw us out of this village.
Translated from Telugu by P. Pavana
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
War of the Species
By Michel Nieva
Completely unaware that this was the kind of sacred moment when you pledge your undying allegiance to a team, through thick and thin, I stated my choice.
Translated from Spanish by Rahul Bery
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
No One Really Knows Why People Shout
By Mario Michelena
His lips are moist, as though he were stewing on more insults.
Translated from Spanish by Lindsay Griffiths & Adrián Izquierdo