This month, we bring you literature on the theme of Italian migration across diverse genres and landscapes. The writers here—from Algeria, Germany, India, Albania, and beyond, all writing in Italian—grapple with the most important questions regarding migration in Italy: who is Italian, what is the Italian language, and who deserves to write in it? Indian–born writer Laila Wadia writes a letter to her newborn son, while Milanese journalist Gabriella Kuruvilla’s short story touches on the dynamics of motherhood and assimilation. Maaza Mengiste considers the role of identity in mourning the dead. Marco Truzzi dives into the daily life of a boy living in a Romani camp, while Sicilian playwright Lina Prosa’s Lampedusa Snow follows an African refugee in Italy’s Alpine north. Algerian–born Tahar Lamri blends strands from Italian, Arabic, German, and other Mediterranean cultures in his story of “an immobile traveler, eternally traveling” in present–day Italy. In poetry, German–born Eva Taylor considers the process of inhabiting a new land and a new language, Albanian–born Gëzim Hajdari explores transnational poetics, and Italian Giampiero Neri reflects on solitude and exile. Finally, journalist and literary critic Francesco Durante looks at migration from two angles: that of immigrant writers adopting Italian and that of native–born Italians who leave for other shores. We thank our guest editor, Alta L. Price. Our special feature presents literature translated from Yiddish, introduced by Sebastian Schulman.




Contemporary Yiddish Literature on Three Continents


Two Miniatures

How can you write something great, something fresh about the sea?


Sing Ladino

Finegolden radiating, bursting— / Multicoloredthoughtingness.


Ingathering of Exiles

Him I believe, even if he is Polish.


An Unexpected Guest

A roaring clap of thunder and everyone’s wigs went flying through the air.



Book Reviews

“Limbo Beirut” by Hilal Chouman

For six strangers, the brutality of May 2008 reawakens forgotten memories of the Lebanese Civil War.


“Me Against the World” by Kazufumi Shiraishi

“Dying has never been our true suffering. All of our sufferings, in fact, have been born . . . from having to live in this mutable world.”


“The Invisibility Cloak” by Ge Fei

A likable loser tries to keep his head above the torrent of contemporary Beijing.


From “Goldfish Don’t Live in Puddles”

“Trailers aren’t usually known to speak.”

Three Poems from “Tattoos”

on the atlas of my skin / your names

From “Lampedusa Snow”

I stand like an African at the door of an entrance / that doesn’t exist.

I am leaving you Europe

Your ruins no longer enchant me.