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Nonfiction

The Sixth Victim
By Shōko Egawa
It all began about the time that the men and women were finishing their first drinks.
Translated from Japanese by David Boyd
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
Lusia Murdered
By Cezary Łazarewicz
“Must you put on a fur when someone shouts ‘murder'?
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
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
Exploring Italian Language, Rap, and Migration through Translation
By Donatella Melucci
In my Italian translation course at Georgetown University, advanced students of Italian learn about translation theory and practice (English-Italian, and vice versa) of different genres, including newspaper…
Other Lives, Other Worlds
By Susan Harris
The results of these confrontations range from triumphant to catastrophic as the boundaries between worlds dissolve.
(Re)writing the Philippines: An Introduction
By Kristian Sendon Cordero & Kristine Ong Muslim
The works we have selected challenge a monolithic view of the fragmented histories and interconnected, overlapping cultures in the Philippines.
Translated from Filipino by Kristine Ong Muslim
“Languages Constantly Crackling in the Air”
By The Editors of Words Without Borders
Not enough is known about the Philippines.
Across Mountains and Valleys: Stories of Migration from the Kinnaur and Spiti Valleys
By Arshia Sattar
Despite their specificity, these tales transcend the places that produced them and throb with a universal appeal.
Warning: Arabic Humor, Makes Frequent Stops
By M. Lynx Qualey
Humor has that paradoxical quality of being absolutely universal while also being deeply embedded in linguistic wordplay and sociocultural zeitgeist.
The Book of Stupid People
By Ibn al-Jawzī
I shall tell you about one of the nitwits.
Translated from Arabic by Emily Jane Selove
Edith Grossman, Renowned Translator and Advocate for Translation, to Receive 2019 Ottaway Award
By Words Without Borders
We are pleased to announce that Edith Grossman will receive the 2019 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature.“In a career that spans over half a century—translating, teaching…
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.
Writing Dreams: New Norwegian Literature
By Kari Dickson
Norway is a dream that many people carry.
The Whale That Blinked
By Andreas Tjernshaugen
In the Antarctic in particular, the blue whale nearly died out.
Translated from Norwegian by Lucy Moffatt
Deciphered Desire
By Rebecca Dinerstein Knight
I soon learned that Norwegians deliver praise in the past tense.
Announcing the Winners of the 2019 Poems in Translation Contest
By The Editors of Words Without Borders
This year, we partnered with the Academy of American Poets for our first ever poetry in translation contest. We received 717 poems from 282 poets from 87 countries translated…
The Women of the Strega
By Chiara Marchelli
This year, among the dozen longlisters for Italy’s most important literary award, the Premio Strega, seven were women. The presence of titles written by women on the Strega longlist has never…
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.
Reimagined Communities: An Introduction to Welsh Writing
By Casi Dylan
In a world reimagining its cultural and political axes, Welsh-language literature gives voice to an experience more necessary and valuable now than ever.
Notes from the Classroom: On Teaching Translation
By Jenny McPhee
I am old enough to remember when creative writing was something you “couldn’t teach” and was considered by the academy to be a less than legitimate area of study. (Journalism didn’t…
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.
Korean Literature Is Stepping Out
By Anton Hur
Now, thanks to our authors, we’re ready to step forth into the sun.
Words Without Borders Launches Poems in Translation Contest
By The Editors of Words Without Borders
Words Without Borders Launches Poems in Translation ContestMónica de la Torre to Judge We're pleased to announce a new contest to spotlight some of the groundbreaking poets working around…
Introducing WWB’s Digital Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Susannah Greenblatt
By Words Without Borders
We’re pleased to welcome Susannah Greenblatt as WWB’s digital marketing and communications coordinator. Susannah is a writer, filmmaker, and translator from the Spanish, and she…
PEN World Voices Feature: “Under My Feet, My Whole Body,” by Marcia Tiburi
By Marcia Tiburi
Brazilian writer, philosopher, and activist Marcia Tiburi currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she is writer-in-residence at City of Asylum. On Saturday, May 11, she will join Scholastique Mukasonga…
Translated by ​Magdalena Edwards
Our 2019 PEN World Voices Festival Itinerary
By Words Without Borders
The fifteenth annual PEN World Voices Festival kicks off today in New York City. From May 6–12, writers from around the world will participate in conversations, readings, translation…
Unsettled: New Writing from Oman
By Ghayde Ghraowi & Ahd Niazy
Unsettlement, a lack of centeredness, manifests itself throughout each of the works in this issue.
Italian Speculative Microfiction in Translation: Three Writers
By Rachel Cordasco
Speculative fiction is alive and well in Italy.
Translated from Italian
Behind Closed Doors: Outing the New Chilean Narrative
By Lina Meruane
Contrary to the epic, totalizing, and politically engaged narratives of the Latin American Boom, the scope of the stories here is narrow, intimate, more local than ever before.
Mozambique, A Land of Poets
By Sandra Tamele
The selection here is proposed not as a definitive list of the major Mozambican poets working today but rather a jumping-off point, a gesture toward the diversity of themes and styles to be found in the contemporary literature of Mozambique.
Translated from Portuguese
International Literary Women & Organizations that Balance for Better
By Words Without Borders
For International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating women and organizations from around the globe who advocate for greater gender parity in the literary world. Through publishing and activism,…
Interiors and Interpretations: New Writing from Indonesia
By Susan Harris
The authors here represent a range of genres and topics in settings extending from distant planets to the very center of the earth.
Geology
By Nirwan Dewanto
When I realize that I am only writing in a national language, it is precisely geography that adds to its meaning.
Translated from Indonesian by George A. Fowler
Who Dreams of Us?: New Swedish-Language Writing
By Saskia Vogel
Whose story gets to be told?
Kopparberg Road 20
By Mathias Rosenlund
When you’ve always worked for a low wage, getting a higher wage is a challenge.
Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel
Alhambra
By Johannes Anyuru
Writing is a post-traumatic symptom.
Translated from Swedish by Kira Josefsson
Words Without Borders Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant
By Words Without Borders
New York, New York, February 13, 2019—The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today awards totaling more than $27 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2019, including an…
Conflicting Stories
By Susan Harris
These works reflect a striking range of existential challenges shaping lives across the globe.
“I Write in French to Tell the French I Am Not French”: Algerian Francophone Poetry
By Marilyn Hacker
Algerian Francophone poetry was largely outside, and in contrast to, the post-World War II movement in French poetry of disengagement from political causes.
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.
Works Cited In Franciane Conceição Silva’s Panorama of Afro-Brazilian Literature
By Franciane Conceição Silva
References and Further Reading Alves, Miriam.Mulher Mat(r)iz. Belo Horizonte: Nandyala, 2011.Alves, Miriam. Entrevista. Duke, Dawn (Org.). A escritora afro-brasileira: ativismo e arte literária.…
Translated from Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato
Another Country: Afro-Brazilian Writing, Past and Present
By Eric M. B. Becker & John Keene
If the literature of a country with the second largest black population worldwide (only Nigeria has a larger black population) does not include that population in its literature, one must ask which Brazil we’re speaking of when we speak of Brazilian…
Beyond the Circle: Minority Voices of Japan
By Sam Bett
What these authors share, as insiders to the Japanese language, is a firsthand perspective on a culture whose monoethnic self-image often excludes them by default.
Insurgent Voices: A Panorama of Afro-Brazilian Writing
By Franciane Conceição Silva
Politicians know I’m a poet. And that poets face death when their people are oppressed.
Translated from Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato
Multilingual
Afro-Brazilian Crusader: On Lima Barreto
By Felipe Botelho Correa
According to Barreto himself, the aim of his crusade was to produce a type of literature that he defined as “militante,” engaging with the society’s most pressing issues and communicating these issues to a wider audience in accessible language.
Women’s Voices, Art, and Activism at the Fifteenth Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
By Eliza Vitri Handayani
Eliza Vitri Handayani reports from the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, which occurred October 24–28 in Ubud, Bali.This year is the fifteenth anniversary of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival…
You Died on Me
By José Luís Peixoto
And I neither want nor can forget what I once felt from your gaze.
Translated from Portuguese by Robin Patterson
The Urn
By Marcin Wicha
It's vile to disregard somebody's sense of aesthetics just because they're dead.
Translated from Polish by Marta Dziurosz
Presences, Ruins, Silences: Writing from Vietnam
By Nhã Thuyên & Kaitlin Rees
Silence, among Vietnamese authors, seems to have become a compelling tradition.
Translated from Vietnamese by the author
Multilingual
(Un)contextualizing Underground Poetry: Reimagining a Critical Community
By Nhã Thuyên
I don't want to put underground poetry into a concrete conflict with mainstream poetry.
Translated from Vietnamese by David Payne
Honor Thy Father and Mother: In Mourning
By Susan Harris
All people mourn in their own ways.
Every Day Is International Translation Day—The 2018 ITD Celebration in London
By Marta Dziurosz
Organized by English PEN, the International Translation Day celebration at the Free Word Centre occurred on September 28, 2018.International Translation Day was celebrated this year at the Free Word Centre…
The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival: An Interview with Janet DeNeefe
By Jessie Chaffee
We spoke with Janet DeNeefe, founder and director of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. Now in its fifteenth year, the festival will occur October 24–28 in Ubud, Bali. Check back on WWB Daily…
From Language Extinction to Pearls Crushed in Wine: JLF at New York
By Noor Naga
JLF at New York occured on September 20, 2018. The festival brought together acclaimed authors and thinkers at the Asia Society in New York City.On September 20, the 2018 JLF at New York…
Beyond “Untouchability”: Dalit Literature in Hindi
By Laura Brueck & Christi A. Merrill
Dalit literature represents some of the most meaningful, socially engaged narrative voices in India today.
Nomads at Home
By KG Hutchins
The stories in this collection paint a complicated picture of Mongolia.
from “Doubly Cursed”
By Kausalya Baisantry
There were a few people in our basti who couldn’t bear our improved circumstances.
Translated from Hindi by Christi A. Merrill
JLF at New York: An Interview with Sanjoy K. Roy
By Jessie Chaffee
On September 20, JLF at New York will bring together acclaimed authors and thinkers at the Asia Society in New York City. We spoke with Sanjoy K. Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts and festival producer,…
WWB Partners with Poets.org to Bring International Poetry to More Readers
By Words Without Borders
WWB is thrilled to announce a content partnership with the Academy of American Poets, who will be sharing poems in translation originally published in Words Without Borders on Poets.org.…
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