Articles tagged "Asia"


Silkworms

Photo: Sharon May, “Rice Harvest, Battambang, Cambodia” (2010) During the Japanese occupation of Cambodia from 1942 to ’45, there were no garments for sale. The French army, civil...

On North Korea: Leaders Great and Dear, and Literature

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...

The First Morning

I have no definite answer to questions about why I migrated from India to Pakistan after the partition in 1947. I look back and see a crowded train rushing past lively and desolate towns and...

Crow

I learned the lines of this noun one bright day in the classroom. That evening I saw its black wings detach from the sky and descend in circles like a parachute toward us, my sister and me,...

December 2nd, 1997, at Night

A blizzard lures us toward Poland, bringing us almost to the border. We should have turned north at Dresden, instead headed due East, to halt in open farmland whose sound is the lightest of...

The Sinologist

To leave the airport is to feel you've got off at the wrong stop. Where are the pavilions to drink rice wine in, the suburbs of love, the policemen using their rifles to lift skirts up with,...

The Five O’Clock Graveyard

If we sit side by side now, and say nothing for a whole half hour, and you say only that we get on fine without words, and you move away a little, for a good look at the grave almost opposite...

The Well is Someone’s Home

each time i dig into the well i never reach the bottom. i pass endless broken fragments of age. my breath is too short to climb all the way down, and my gaze too blind to fathom the top. hundreds...

Womb

My name is Nagari. Thirty years of age. There is no need to explain; I understand. . . . That evening, after my bath, my hair still wet, I heard a pounding on the door of my rented room. Three...

from “Serve the People!”

The novel is the only place for a great many of life's truths. Because it is only in fiction that certain facts can be held up to the light. The novel it is, then, for this particular truth....

Hai Phong

Yellow lamps, prostitutes' eyes Lines of sad provincial poems On a farewell afternoon, yellow leaves are falling Ocean winds have no ports or borders Ocean clouds go their own way...

From behind a Closed Window

Is there, out there, a sky Sunny or windy or humid with autumn A sky at dawn, or a sunset sky? Are there, out there, human faces Strange or familiar Happy or hurting Friendly faces, or...

The Utopian

I will find myself in a mirror My name in a line of poetry My destiny in a person I've never met Once I lay in the sun by the Caspian Sea Listening to songs of seaweed and foam A...

Landing

Flying over God's mountains, canyons, wastelands glimmering with foxfire, graveyards where owls vanish and appear, you drop from the stars like a soul being born, and still bearing the...

Discovery

even ants tremble at nightfall even stones suffer insomnia even moonlight's so polluted men's shadows thin to mist even the mountaintop swells as if ready to blow even the Tang...

At 30

The first ten years of my life, as the moon exposed its silent craters to my small city far below, the streets filled with shouts, gongs and drums drove out devils, my lame uncle cursed in the...

Underground Flower

There is an orchid that only blooms underground. Because it never shows itself above ground few are said to have seen it. Only white ants can enter the blooms, drawn by the fragrance rising...

Cutting off a Finger

My mother's finger was cut off by a slamming door. Or should I say that she stuck her finger in it to stop the slicing wind. Honey, don't shiver, just feed the hungry wind this...

How Far Does the Light

That pomegranate lives the same life, yearns for the same light. Its pointed scarlet blossom is an open mouth, "Ah," gathering every ray of light. This fall, in my red gums, pain burned...

Scale and Stairs

If you climbed up the back stairs to the church a piano stood like a sad black animal in a corner of the nave. The child reflected in the black sheen of the piano opened the cover and...

The 2007 Book Clubs are Here!

2007 Words Without Borders/Reading the World BOOK CLUBS ARE HERE ALL ARE INVITED TO READ, COMMENT, AND PARTICIPATE RTW BOOK CLUBS 2007 LINEUP: JANUARY and FEBRUARY James Marcus and...

Stick Out Your Tongue by Ma Jian

When Stick Out Your Tongue was first published in China in 1987, one commentator denounced it as a "vulgar, obscene book that defames the image of our Tibetan compatriots," and Ma Jian's works...

Inside and Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women on Japanese Women, compiled by Cathy Layne

Inside and Other Short Fiction--Japanese Women by Japanese Women offers a corrective to Western and Japanese stereotypes of Japanese women's sexuality. The stories in this collection are...

Big Breasts & Wide Hips by Mo Yan

At a time when Western eyes fixate on China's influence as a budding economic superpower, Mo Yan has turned his gaze inward on the vicissitudes of the last Chinese century. Big Breasts & Wide...

The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian

The pace of change in China over the last fifteen years has been extraordinarily fast; the pace at which its literature reaches us in translation shamefully slow. Chinese dissident writer Ma Jian is...

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