Articles Tagged “Asia ”

Free Aung San Suu Kyi!

by Georgia de Chamberet, October 12, 2007

As the feeding frenzy that is Frankfurt Book Fair gets into full swing, a more mindful energy is fuelling the monks leading the people power revolution against the Military Junta in Burma. Last Saturday, thousands of demonstrators marched from Millbank, looped across the River Thames, and ended up in…...read more »

The Future of Literature

by Arnon Grunberg, June 24, 2008

Two days after I left Iraq, I traveled to a small resort at the Black Sea for a writer's conference about the future of literature. For some reason it seemed to me the right sequence: first Baghdad and then a conference about the future of literature. I have been to a few literary festivals, but this…...read more »

An Invisible Cabal in the Sky

by Irakli Iosebashvili, August 19, 2008

On August 7th, Russia responded to a Georgian attack on the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, with a massive deployment of troops across the border and attacks on the Georgian cities of Gori and Poti. This open act of aggression brought an end to the "frozen conflict" between the countries that has…...read more »

On the Passing of Ahmed Faraz

by moazzam sheikh, October 1, 2008

It would be accurate to say that Faraz was the most famous and beloved twentieth-century Urdu poet from the subcontinent, after Iqbal(1877-1938) and Faiz (1911-1984). He may even be the most sung or popular among his contemporaries in any South Asian language. This is no small feat, since many of Faraz's…...read more »

Words with Borders…and Borders and Borders

by The Editors, October 5, 2008

With regrets for the delay in commenting on this, here's an interesting piece from the New York Times on the complicated and often confounding interplay of language, culture and politics in the Caucasus. It's an intriguing look at the fate of the lingua franca that falls out of grace, and provides some…...read more »

A Feast for Readers: Eid Specials in Bangladesh

by Mahmud Rahman, October 23, 2008

The last morning of September, I learn that the Daily Star's Eid Literature Special has come out. It includes a personal essay from me, so I head out for a nearby newspaper vendor. He's at Farmgate, fifteen minutes away. On my walk I notice many shops are shuttered. People are vacating the city. Dhaka…...read more »

Everything for Literature

by Arnon Grunberg, January 4, 2009

There is a myth that journalistic endeavors interfere with the true vocation of a novelist: writing novels. I find that the opposite is true. My journalistic excursions have, if anything, enhanced my work as a novelist. In early December, I traveled to Ukraine on a so-called íromance tour.ë…...read more »

Online Book Club for “The Diving Pool” by Yoko Ogawa

by The Editors, January 8, 2009

This January, we kick off the year in book clubs with an online discussion of Yoko Ogawa's Diving Pool. Ogawa is one of contemporary Japan's most celebrated authors, and her collection of meticulously crafted, dark and troubling novellas provides a glimpse into the subtle, twisted drama of everyday life.…...read more »

An Introduction to “The Diving Pool” by Yoko Ogawa

by Amber Qureshi, January 9, 2009

Amber Qureshi jumpstarts the discussion of Yoko Ogawa's Diving Pool with an introduction to the author, her work and contemporary Japanese literature. Amber will be posting her impressions of The Diving Pool on a weekly basis throughout January and we hope all of our readers, and the attendees of our…...read more »

film iconYoko Ogawa Discussion on Video

by Bud Parr, January 12, 2009

If you missed the terrific discussion between Stephen Snyder and Allison Powell on Yoko Ogawa's The Diving Pool last week, you're in luck, because we're making a video available on YouTube. Here's part one and you can check in on our YouTube Channel for the rest as we post them (if you…...read more »

Stephen Snyder talks about “The Diving Pool


Plumbing the Haunted Imagination of Yoko Ogawa

by Austin Woerner, January 13, 2009

Austin Woerner reports on the discussion between Stephen Snyder and Allison Powell at the Idlewild bookstore last Thursday, January 8, in New York City. You can find the video from the event at the Words Without Borders Youtube channel—Editors As a translator of a language very different from my…...read more »

Ogawa Book Club Post—“Pregnancy Diary”

by Amber Qureshi, January 16, 2009

In her second post for our Diving Pool-discussion, Amber Qureshi discusses "Pregnancy Diary,"one of the novellas from the book and poses questions for our readers. You can find links to previous posts in the discussion at the bottom of the page, and we encourage you to read them and to join in the discussion.—Editors…...read more »

Allison Powell on “The Diving Pool”

by Allison Powell, January 20, 2009

In an essay that was originally featured in the companion booklet to her and Stephen Snyder's discussion of The Diving Pool at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City, Allison Powell talks about Ogawa, the themes of the author's work and speculates about the riveting and twisted imagery and obsessions…...read more »

From Ghazal to Zuihitsu: A Conference on Translating Asian Languages and Cultures

by Bud Parr, January 27, 2009

This recently came in from Roger Sedarat at Queens College: The Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation hosts a translation conference from March 26-March 28, 2009, with panels on translation pedagogy, Asian and Middle Eastern languages and literatures, translation in…...read more »

“The Diving Pool” Blog Post

by Amber Qureshi, January 27, 2009

In her blog post on the titular story from Yoko Ogawa's collection of novellas, Amber Qureshi discusses the author's unique use of rhythm and imagery and posits some questions for discussion. For links to other essays in this book club series, go to the bottom of the page, and do feel free to join in…...read more »

Amber Qureshi Discusses Yoko Ogawa’s “Dormitory”

by Amber Qureshi, January 30, 2009

In her final post for the Ogawa book club, moderator Amber Qureshi talks about the third novella in The Diving Pool and the author's cinematic use of light and shadow in her writing. Thanks to all for reading along and we hope that if you have a thought on this or any other post in the series, you'll…...read more »

Blogging about Graphics in February

by The Editors, February 3, 2009

As part of our third annual Graphic Novels issue, we'll be featuring blog posts on the art, inspiration, histories and technical details behind the most exciting graphic narratives out there. All this February, we're joined by Edward Gauvin, Yani Mentzas, Heinz Insu Fenkl and others, in a discussion…...read more »

Translated Fiction: Immensely Popular in the U.S.!

by Yani Mentzas, February 3, 2009

In his first post for our Graphic Novels blog line-up, Yani Mentzas, Editorial Director of Vertical, Inc., the publisher of—among other great work—Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack series, talks about contemporary Japanese literature, video games and one way to get U.S. readers to consume mass quantities…...read more »

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part I)

by Yani Mentzas, February 6, 2009

In his second post for our blog series on graphic novels this month, Yani Mentzas talks about ensuring quality in manga—in images and in words—and about the very physical constraints of translating for manga.—Editors A work of manga can be translated in a cavalier fashion with near…...read more »

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part II)

by Yani Mentzas, February 13, 2009

The Japanese language employs a mixture of phonetic scripts and ideograms. These latter, the Chinese or kanji characters, invariably take up more space than the original single glyph when rendered into English. There are other facets of the Japanese language that contribute to the tendency for the average…...read more »

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part III)

by Yani Mentzas, February 19, 2009

In manga translation, the English rendition of the original Japanese has to fit back into a bubble, and the spatial constraints can be formidable given that one language reads top-down and the other left-right. Not only the bubble's size but its shape comes into play, favoring the use of shorter words…...read more »

Words Without Borders and the Idea of Indonesian Literature

by Andy Fuller, March 12, 2009

I want to explore how the idea of "words without borders" might relate to the concept of "Indonesian literature." "Borders" can be political, cultural, social and perhaps, practical. A border is a construct, rather than something natural and self-evident. They are expressed politically and through culture…...read more »

An Athenian Story…from Vietnam

by Gazmend Kapllani, March 23, 2009

This is the third installment of a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants living in Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. Links are available at the…...read more »

Binhad Nurrohmat in Cirebon

by Andy Fuller, April 22, 2009

This reading was filmed on the north-central coast of Java in the port city of Cirebon. The film shows Binhad Nurrohmat reading a poem he wrote on a previous visit to the city. The title of the poem is "Dermaga Cirebon": "dermaga" means "pier" or "jetty". The raw footage of the film was screened at a…...read more »

Shinji Ishii and The Story Behind the Novel

by Bonnie Elliott, May 6, 2009

As part of our month-long celebration of contemporary writing from Japan this May at Words without Borders, Bonnie Elliott provides an informative glimpse into the provenance of Shinji Ishii's novel Once Upon a Swing. You can read an excerpt from the novel, in Bonnie's translation, in this month's issue.…...read more »

Is Tezuka God?

by Yani Mentzas, May 7, 2009

Continuing our blog coverage this month to celebrate our Japan issue, Yani Mentzas, who many of our readers will remember from his appearance as a blogger during our Graphic Novels issue, holds forth on Osamu Tezuka. —Editors Back in February, when the Graphic Novels issue was up, I wrote here…...read more »

The World According to shinji ishii

by Bonnie Elliott, May 11, 2009

In her second dispatch this month, Bonnie Elliott tells us more about shinji ishii and the difficulties of resolving the real with the literary. You can find an excerpt from shinji ishii's Once Upon a Swing in this month's issue of the magazine. —Editors In our first email exchange, shinji explained…...read more »

Tanikawa Shuntaro, The Greatest Living Poet You’ve Never Heard Of

by Juliet Grames, May 13, 2009

In her dispatch for this month's issue on Japanese literature, Juliet Grames directs her attention to the post-war poet Tanikawa Shuntaro and his verse— lyrical, unusual, and largely unheard of in the U.S. —Editors There's nothing quite as exciting and frustrating as finding a piece of extremely…...read more »

Divine Comics

by Yani Mentzas, May 15, 2009

In his second post for our Japan issue, Yani Mentzas talks about the divine in the work of Osamu Tezuka —Editors In my previous post I pointed out that Osamu Tezuka—the God of Manga (manga no kamisama) and indisputably the most important figure in the history of Japanese comics—needs…...read more »

New Writers Explore the Dark Side of Japanese Literature

by Kay Ohara, May 19, 2009

Book sales are generally down in Japan, and for that matter, they've been down for more than a decade. Sure, you've heard of the rise of keitai shosetsu, novels written and read on the ubiquitous cell phones, but it's no Kindle and no one's getting royalties there. Excuse the pun, but it's something…...read more »

Deus Ex Tezuka: The Inaugural Episode of “Black Jack”

by Yani Mentzas, May 22, 2009

In his third post for our Japan issue, Yani Mentzas dissects the the moral (and national) background in Tezuka's work and discusses the religious imagery of a miracle-working doctor. —Editors Tezuka's ability to explore matters of divinity within manga, a form that was deemed inherently frivolous,…...read more »

Translating “The Tale of Genji”, the World’s First Novel

by Juliet Grames, May 27, 2009

In her second blog post for our issue of Japanese literature, Juliet Grames explores the roots of contemporary writing by discussing the now 1,000-year-old Tale of Genji. —Editors You may have heard the exciting news: it's the 1000th-anniversary of The Tale of Genji, the Japanese epic commonly…...read more »

Profession of Faith

by Yani Mentzas, June 1, 2009

In his final post in this series, Yani Mentzas takes us back to his childhood memories of Tezuka and talks about how public (and private) perceptions of the author's work have evolved over the years. —Editors While the perception that comics are mainstream in Japan is true to an extent, the case…...read more »

Twenty Years after Tiananmen, Part II

by Wang Dan, June 16, 2009

In his second post for Words without Borders, former dissident leader Wang Dan continues his discussion about the significance of the events of June 4 in today's world and to the politics and policies of today's China. You can read his first post over here. —Editors One question that people have…...read more »

film iconPoeboes Podcast: Aamer Hussein

by Andre Naffis-Sahely, October 16, 2009

This month, Andre Naffis brings us the third installment in his Poeboes series of podcasts for the WWB blog. In his latest dispatch. Andre speaks to writer Aamir Hussein. Aamer Hussein (1955– ), was born in Karachi, Pakistan and moved to London at the age of 15. He writes short stories and novellas,…...read more »

On North Korea: Leaders Great and Dear, and Literature

by Susan Harris, December 20, 2011

The opacity that his obituaries attribute to Kim Jong-il extends to North Korean literary culture. WWB has published a fair amount of writing from the country, starting with our second issue in September 2003, Writing from North Korea, and continuing with our anthology Literature from the "Axis of Evil":…...read more »