Archives

January, 2016

New Fiction in Translation: From “Lost Words”

The following is an excerpt from Nicola Gardini's novel Lost Words, translated by Michael Moore and out January 25 from New Directions. The novel is a meditation on class and language, told through a coming of age story set inside a working-class apartment...

Have We Lost The Lofty? Virgil’s Aeneid and the History of English Poetry

In two months’ time Farrar, Straus and Giroux will release Seamus Heaney’s translation of Book Six of the Aeneid. In the same way as the epic was, in the words of his daughter Catherine Heaney, “a touchstone . . . to which he would return time and time again...

WWB Weekend: Venezuela, Then and Now (and in Six Months)

“It might seem as though everything follows some kind of order, but no, it’s all chaos.” —Israel Centeno, “A Pornomilitary Romanza,” translated by Valerie Miles If you’re searching for a context in which to understand this week’s...

An Interview with Tomás González

In the Beginning Was the Sea is Colombian writer Tomás González’s first novel, written in 1983 and only recently published for the first time in English by Pushkin Press (in Frank Wynne's translation). The lyrical, haunting story has the feel of a...

Illustration in the Digital Age: The 50th Anniversary of L’ecole des Loisirs

Before the proliferation of digital images began to pixelate our lives, filmmaker Wim Wenders voiced mistrust in the explosion of the electronic image at the beginning of his 1989 Notebook on Cities and Clothes. Speaking in his soft German accent over the layered video footage of a...

December, 2015

An Interview with Alberto Mussa

Alberto Mussa was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1961. After graduating in Mathematics, he studied Linguistics at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University and earned his master’s degree with a thesis titled “The role of African languages in the history of the Portuguese language in...

WWB Weekend: White Christmas, Black Magic

For a twist on seasonal themes, check out Angelo Cannavacciuolo’s “White Christmas,” from our December 2008 issue. Yes, the story takes place on December 23 and 24, and snow does finally fall; but the title refers to the perfume with which the hooker Maria has...

WWB Team Picks: Favorite and Future Reads of 2015/2016

Because it’s the season for end-of-year lists, and because 2015 has been yet another year of authors in translation hacking the system and gaining terrain in mainstream media outlets (Lispector, more Ferrante, more Knausgaard, etc.), we have decided to join in on the fun here at...

The City and the Writer: In Umm Al-Zienat with Mohammad al-Assad

Special Series: Literary Maps Only in that song / jasmines bloom / more than once...

WWB Weekend: May the Force (and WWB) Be with You

As lines snake round the block for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we invite you to avoid the crowds by checking out the intergalactic offerings in our archives. Start with our December 2009 issue, “Out of This World: International Science Fiction,” which presents extracts from...

A Bloody Past: On Censorship in Indonesia

On October 23, I received news from the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival: due to warnings from local police, the festival had to cancel sessions related to 1965 anti-communist massacres and their aftermath. I was shocked and outraged, especially after attending successful discussions...

The City and the Writer: In Yasuf with Hannah Khalil

Special Series: Literary Maps       FATHER: Traveling is a lonely business. COUSIN: You don’t understand – everyone left the village. It’s like a ghost town. MOTHER: What do you mean? COUSIN: There were still clothes hanging on the lines – but...

WWB Weekend: Our Germans of the Year(s)

Time’s anointing of German chancellor Angela Merkel as Person of the Year has sparked the predictable debate, but there’s no arguing the quality of the many German pieces we’ve published during (and before) her term. Most recently, Ulrike Ulrich was...

History, War, and Writing: Notes from the Conrad Festival in Krakow

Photo: Thomasz Wiech / the Conrad Festival The first day of my one-week trip to Krakow, during which I planned to learn more about Polish literature by attending the seventh annual Conrad Festival, spending time at the Krakow Book Fair, touring the city, and meeting with authors, agents,...

The City and the Writer: In Toronto with Antanas Sileika

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....

Words Without Borders Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Savannah Whiting, Communications Associate Email Address: [email protected] Words Without Borders Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant   New York City, New York, December 8, 2015—The National Endowment for the...

WWB Weekend: More from Madagascar

As Allison M. Charette notes in her illuminating introduction to this month’s issue, very few Malagasy writers have been translated into English, and only a handful of authors in Madagascar can support themselves with their writing. One author you’ll find in both categories...

The City and the Writer: In Montreal with Dimitri Nasrallah

Photo credit: Maica Armata 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.                    ...

November, 2015

WWB Weekend: On the Road to (Not) Giving Thanks, or the Hell That Is Family

As the US celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday, families come together to eat, give thanks, and enjoy (or tolerate) each other’s company. The prickly father, distracted mother, sullen adolescent, whiny children, and cranky baby packed into the car in Naja Marie Aidt’s “Car...

The Translator Relay: Amaia Gabantxo

Our "Translator Relay" series features a new interview each month. This month's translator will choose the next interviewee, adding a different, sixth question. For November's installment, Jason Grunebaum passed the baton to Amaia Gabantxo, a writer, flamenco singer,...

The City and the Writer: In Cape Town with Margie Orford

Image of The City and the Writer: In Cape Town with Margie Orford
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...

But We Still Have Our Words

In the Marais that Friday, November 13, the air was light and mild as I left the indie press festival Salon L’Autre Livre, reinvigorated by reunions and conversations with poet and publisher friends. Crowds lingered in the streets, happy to be seated with a drink on a café...

WWB Weekend: Pol Pot’s Smile

This month’s issue of Words without Borders brings readers a delightfully diverse selection of Cambodian literature ranging from ancient poetry to rap music. But this isn’t our first foray into Cambodia. In our October 2009 issue, “Foreign...

Iván Repila: An Interview with Sophie Hughes

Iván Repila (Bilbao, 1978) is a writer, editor and cultural events manager. He is the co-founder of the press Masmédula Ediciones, which specializes in poetry. Iván has worked for various national and international organizations and institutions, producing,...

We Have a New Blog Editor!

We’re pleased to welcome Katrine Øgaard Jensen as the new blog editor of Words without Borders. She joined us this week and has hit the ground running with new, exciting plans for our Dispatches blog. Katrine comes to us with experience as a literary translator, editor,...

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