Category: Dispatches

August, 2016

A Language Is a Window: An Interview with Krys Lee

Image: Krys Lee. Photograph by Matt Douma. Words Without Borders caught up with writer and translator Krys Lee. Her novel How I Became a North Korean was just published by Viking/Penguin Random House. Words Without Borders (WWB): You write in English and translate from Korean. What...

FLIP 2016: Some Considerations

Image: Gabriela Wiener presents with Juliana Frank at FLIP. Photo by Luisa Leme. This year the Festa Literária International de Paraty—the international literary festival better known as FLIP, an annual affair in the seaside colonial town of Paraty, Brazil, smack-dab between...

June, 2016

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

May, 2016

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...

From the Translator: The Song Remains the Same?

Images: David Bowie, 1974; Silvia Pérez Cruz, 2008; Édith Piaf, 1962 (Wikimedia Commons).      Esther Allen’s translation of Erick J. Mota’s “The Bleeding Hands of Castaways” appears in the May 2016 issue...

Remembering Lakshmi Holmström

“The most difficult part of translation is, I believe, finding the ‘right’ pitch and voice of the original, and to try and match that. I won’t say ‘replicate’; that’s impossible. But there is also the hard graft of familiarizing oneself with the...

The City and the Writer: In Jerusalem with Liana Badr

Special Series: Literary Maps   City of Origin: Hebron City of Birth: Jerusalem City/Cities you grew up in: Jerusalem and Jericho Current Residence: Ramallah Your City/Cities: Jerusalem, Jericho  Language(s) spoken: Arabic and English Language(s) you write in: Arabic Home:...

When the Woman Writes the Poem Herself: On Alejandra Pizarnik

Image: Alejandra Pizarnik in a public park in Buenos Aires, photographed by Sara Facio. Alejandra Pizarnik’s Extracting the Stone of Madness has a loaded title: “Extracting the stone” (it’s the same in Spanish: Extracción de la...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Literary Quest: Westbeth Edition

Alexandre Vidal Porto reads from his novel Sergio Y. Photo: Bruna Dantas Lobato. I grabbed a map of the Westbeth Artists Housing in the West Village and traced a plan for the evening of salon-style readings, part of the PEN World Voices Festival. On Thursday, April 28, residents of...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Translation Slam

Michael F. Moore, Abdellah Taïa, Emma Ramadan, and Chris Clarke. Photo: Alex Zucker. At the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on Friday, April 29, Michael F. Moore hosted the Translation Slam for the PEN World Voices Festival. A festival favorite for nine years running, this year’s event...

The Old Man, the Mist, and a List of Dreams

Translated by Eric M. B. Becker Image: Guangzhou, Tomás Franco It’s early yet to write about China, it’s too late to write about China, it all depends on the true age of your soul (and this you’ll never know) so you offer your reader three options: a scene...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Expats

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Jamaica Kincaid, Marlon James, Colum McCann, and Eric Banks. Photo: Bruna Dantas Lobato. The term “expatriate” is overburdened, too close to exile on the one hand and immigrant on the other. At the Instituto Cervantes on Wednesday, April 27, New...

April, 2016

On Translation: Push and Dig

Reading Haviva Pedaya’s “A Poem for Rachel Corrie”   Haviva Pedaya’s poem, “A Poem for Rachel Corrie” (in Hebrew, “Shir le-Rachel Corrie”) was written in the immediate aftermath of the death of the American activist Rachel...

2016 Man Booker International Prize Finalists at Words without Borders

The Man Booker International Prize is awarded annually to a single work of international fiction that has been translated into English and published in the UK. The 2016 longlist of thirteen works was announced on March 10, 2016, followed by the shortlist on April 14....

The City and the Writer: In Wellington, NZ with Chris Price

Author Photo: Robert Cross 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.                      ...

2016 Man Booker International Q&A: Jessica Moore

Jessica Moore was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Maylis de Kerangal's Mend the Living. Her other translations include Maylis de Kerangal's Birth of a Bridge and Jean-François...

2016 Man Booker International Q&A: Charlotte Collins

Charlotte Collins is shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Robert Seethaler's A Whole Life. Charlotte's other translations include Robert Seethaler's forthcoming novel The Tobacconist, Nina Haratischwill's play Liv...

2016 Man Booker International Q&A: Jordan Stump

Jordan Stump was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for his translation of Marie NDiaye's Ladivine. Jordan's has translated many authors from French, including Marie Redonnet, Eric Chevillard, and Honoré de Balzaz. His translation of Claude...

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