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June, 2016

The City and The Writer: In El Salvador with Roxana Méndez

Image: Roxana Méndez. If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of El...

From the Translator: Schernikau’s Quiet Radicalism

Image: From the cover of Ronald M. Schernikau’s Kleinstadtnovelle (Small-town Novella). Lucy Renner Jones’s translation of Ronald M. Schernikau’s “Small-town Novella”​ appears in the June 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “The Queer...

In Memoriam: Gregory Rabassa, 1922–2016

Image: Earl Fitz with Gregory Rabassa. Photo courtesy of Ezra E. Fitz. The great translator Gregory Rabassa died June 13 at ninety-four. You can read an excerpt from his memoir, If This Be Treason, here. In the meantime, some translators from Spanish share their thoughts...

WWB Weekend: Soccer Queens of Colombia

In honor of the Copa America final this weekend and the pride celebrations this month, we turn to Alberto Salcedo Ramos’s rollicking “Queens Football,” from our Queer issue of June 2014. The modifier refers to neither borough nor monarch, but to the...

Dispatches from the Festival degli Scrittori, Florence, Italy

Image: Dany Laferrière (center) and Alba Donati (right) at the 2016 Festival degli Scrittori at Palazzo Strozzi. On June 6-8, writers, translators, and publishers from around the world gathered in Florence for the tenth annual Festival degli Scrittori and Gregor von Rezzori...

An Interview with Dany Laferrière

Image: Dany Laferrière during the 2016 Festival degli Scrittori. Photo by Jessie Chaffee. Dany Laferrière’s novel The World is Moving Around Me was a finalist for the 2016 Gregor von Rezzori Prize. Born in Port-au-Prince in 1953, Dany Laferrière worked as a...

An Interview with Mircea Cărtărescu

Image: Mircea Cărtărescu. Photo by Jessie Chaffee. Romanian poet, fiction writer, and journalist Mircea Cărtărescu was awarded the 2016 Premio Gregor von Rezzori for his trilogy Blinding. Born in Bucharest in 1956, he is one of Romania’s premier...

Translating the Classics: An Interview with Lydia Davis

Image: Lydia Davis at the University of Georgia Chapel (with George Cooke’s 1847 painting, "Interior of St. Peter's"), Wikimedia Commons. In the spring of 2016, as co-teachers of the course Translating the Classics, we and our eight students engaged in an electronic...

Refugee Stories: Idomeni, Greece

Image: Ahmad at the refugee camp in Idomeni, Greece, photographed by Martin Trabalik.  In 2015, over 800,000 individuals fleeing war-torn lands in the Middle East made the hazardous journey from Turkey to Greece in overcrowded, ill-equipped boats, hoping eventually to find...

Remembering Gregory Rabassa

Image: Gregory Rabassa. Photograph taken by his daughter Clara Rabassa. Daniel Shapiro, a Distinguished Lecturer at The City College of New York, CUNY, and editor of Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, remembers renowned translator Gregory Rabassa, who passed away on June 13,...

WWB Weekend: Muslim and Queer

In our sorrow and disbelief over the attack in Orlando, we turn to our archives for some insight into the lives of queer Muslims in other parts of the world. Two stories—one from Jordan, one from Iran—describe ruses based on queer identity, and social attitudes toward it,...

Help WWB Inspire Global Readers

June 6–17, Words Without Borders is raising support for its new online education program, WWB Campus, with a crowdfunding campaign to #InspireGlobalReaders. Find out more about WWB Campus and how you can help on our Generosity page. Since 2014, WWB Campus has brought...

Writing Outside the Mainstream: An Interview with Jeon Sam-hye

Image: Anton Hur and Jeon Sam-hye at Seoul Pride, 2016. Anton Hur’s translaton of Jeon Sam-hye’s story “Genesis” appears in the June 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “The Queer Issue VII.” Anton Hur (AH): How did you come to write...

The City and the Writer: In El Salvador with Jorge Galán

Image: Jorge Galán If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                      ...

The Watchlist: June 2016

Every month, from the reviews desk to you, Words without Borders reviews editor M. Bartley Seigel shares a handful of forthcoming titles he’s excited about and thinks you should be excited about, too. From One World Publications, A Very Special Year by Thomas Montasser, translated...

Sympathy for the Underdog: An Interview with Peter Zilahy

Image: Peter Zilahy, photographed by Eftihia Stefanidi. Peter Zilahy’s The Last Window-Giraffe is a genre-defying book originally written in Hungarian; it has been translated into twenty-two languages and is often cited as one of the inspirations for the Orange Revolution in...

WWB Weekend: Boxing Days

This weekend, in memory of Muhammad Ali and with a nod to next month’s events in Rio, we’re scheduling a rematch with Eyad Barghuthy’s “A Knockout Punch,” from our May 2015 issue of new Palestinian writing. Barghuthy tells the tale of another black Muslim...

An Interview with Christina MacSweeney

Christina MacSweeney is a literary translator specializing in Latin American fiction. Her translations include Daniel Saldaña París’s Among Strange Victims (Coffee House Press, 2016), Eduardo Rabasa’s A Zero Sum Game (Deep Vellumn, 2016), and...

The Translator Relay: Sholeh Wolpé

Image: Photo of Sholeh Wolpé by Bonnie Perkinson WWB’s Translator Relay series is back! The Translator Relay features a new interview each month. This month’s translator will choose the next interviewee, adding a different, sixth question. For June’s...

From the Translator: A Lunar Sorority

Image: Phases of the Moon. (CC0 Public Domain.) Anton Hur’s translation of Jeon Sam-hye’s “Genesis” appears in the June 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “The Queer Issue VII.” Insofar as a translator can be “well-known,” I am...

WWB Weekend: Some Like it Marilyn

Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe would have turned ninety this week. Beyond her impact in the US, her image permeated international popular culture as well, as suggested by the far-flung origins of the WWB pieces in which she’s featured. Sometimes she makes only a cameo appearance:...

Teaching in Translation: Bennington Translates

From translator Sarah Ponichtera’s presentation on postwar Yiddish poetry and prose. (J.J. Beck for Bennington College.) “All of a sudden, I’m seeing translation everywhere! Gracias! Merci! Toda raba!” I was so thrilled with this exclamation by an...

May, 2016

The City and the Writer: In Qadita with Ala Hlehel

Image: Ala Hlehel, photograph by Bianca Sistermans   Special Series: Literary Maps   City of Origin: Qadita (District of Safad), the village was destroyed in 1948 City of Birth: Al-Jish (District of Safad) City/Cities you grew up in: Al-Jish Current...

WWB Weekend: Memories and Wars

Image: WWII Memorial, Canberra, Creative Commons CC0. With Barack Obama visiting Hiroshima and Vietnam, and Memorial Day around the corner, the US is awash in memories of its wars and those lost in them. We’re turning to our archives to extend the commemoration to those who...

From the Translator: On Translating Yoss and Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro

Image: Wikimedia Commons. Hillary Gulley’s translation of Yoss’s “Interstellar Biochocolate Mousse á la solitaire . . . For Two” and Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro’s “Nothing to Declare” appear in the...

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