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Articles tagged "Corruption"

Quipapá Gold

L’or de Quipapá is the debut novel from Hubert Tézenas, an author who has spent the first thirty years of his career translating American and Brazilian novels into his native French. The crime novel dives into Brazil of the late 80s, exploring all the crime, corruption, and seedy underbelly of a country in economic repression, having just recovered from a military dictatorship. Quipapá is home to a sugar cane magnate, whose workers are treated more like slaves....

The Garden of Tears

Translator's note: Driss and Souad are in their late twenties and recently married. Driss is a nurse and Souad is a cook at one of Marrakech’s finest restaurants. Their lives mirror those of the average Moroccan working class: confined to badly paid jobs in a country ruled by a monarchic kleptocracy. Driss and Souad work hard and are hoping to save enough money to buy their own home. During one of her evening shifts, Souad is assaulted by a drunken government officer: Police...

The Ape

I used to think it an exaggeration that Latin American dictators were always depicted as apes in cartoons. Until one day . . . On the railway track, hundreds of soldiers appeared in their camouflage gear, several armored cars blocked the crossroads, and up in the sky hovered two of those birds. It was Sunday. A football match was being played out in the field, there were drunks in the cantinas, and a sweet marimba was playing at a party. All of a sudden, everything felt like a Monday....

Baking the National Cake

David sits silently, staring at the reports in front of him. Words wobble on the page. He pulls one file closer and fingers the papers one by one. He twists his mouth. His cheeks follow the twist of the lips. His face contorts. He has to be ready for the cabinet meeting at 11 AM. His accountability report is one of the major items on the agenda. The other is the Succession to Presidency Bill. David absentmindedly taps his Parker pen on the page. He reads from one line to the next and back...

The Man with the Knife

He lay back on the sofa, tipsy. She had invited him out for a meal and now they were back at her flat. He was a renowned poetry critic with a successful career. She was just an aspiring poet. He had agreed to help her be “successful”—that was the word they used in China nowadays. It was not easy to be a successful poet. She would have to work hard. She offered him tea to sober him up. Then they could go on talking about poetry—Rilke and Yeats, even Foucault and...

The Heart’s Secret Moves

It happened on a Wednesday, this tale of enlightenment. Tuesdays Pedro was The Heart, which meant cracking heads. He was a Lightweight, and a real brawler. Wore a red mask and had a red, triangular kaboom painted on that smooth chest of his. Got his opponent in a Boston Crab till the trainers threw in the towel and The Heart told the ref, count. It didn’t really matter if the ref didn’t count, or if he counted too fast, because it was all just part of the show. It was the buzz...

The Man Who Went into the Hills

He was walking quickly through the alley. His eyes were wide open and he stared frantically straight in front of him. A group of people was tossing banana skins in the middle of the street. The walking man hurried past the skins, then suddenly slipped, and fell. The whole crowd started to laugh at him. Furious, the walking man got up. Wild with rage, he began cursing the laughing crowd, “Hey, look at all of you! Blood is flowing in our country and you’re laughing. You should...

From “Sandokan”

during the summer months I help my father I work in the orchard and during these two or three months of summer I spend fifteen or twenty days at the fruit dump I drive my father's tractor to the collection centers the so called fruit dumps that the AIMA the Azienda di Stato per gli Interventi nel Mercato Agricolo the national farm support agency sets up in farming districts where there is an excess of production that might drive down prices in that case they have to destroy part of...

A Revolutionary Tradition: Shoars in Iranian Street Politics

As images of the bloody crackdown by government militias and plainclothes policemen on the peaceful demonstrations were broadcast after the controversial results of the tenth presidential elections in Iran in late June 2009, the world was reminded of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Even if Iran's political institutions have so far remained intact in the face of the recent agitation, its political culture has forever changed, perhaps even reverted to the revolutionary state of 1979, a...

Maybe Not Yem

"Can you believe it? One of my friends threw her boss's baby into a washing machine, just before going back to her village," the woman beside me said in a flat voice. I turned my gaze to the darkness outside the car window. The woman was terrorizing me. Damn it all! A chill ran through me as I thought of what she had just told me. The air was stuffy. Our small van crawled along the road. The heat from the van's engine was enough to make frozen blood boil. As we traveled along...

from “Metro”

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Encounter

Don't you hear—the door of the next compartment just opened? It has to be a ticket taker. Who else gets the words out like that? Everything so clear and distinct: —Gutten Tag, geben Sie mir bitte! Feverish, tense, you try to calm your rapid breathing. Your glance fixes sideways at the dark, shining window. Only, you can't see the landscapes coursing into the night. You're in an express, an intercity. —Den Fahrschein Bitte! You pat your pockets as if...

The Reticent Suicide

(An Inspector Suasnavas case narrated by his friend Pérez the journalist) I've decided to begin this saga of Inspector Facundo Suasnavas with the case that gave root to his immense and deserved prestige at police headquarters, the most discreet prestige that, naturally, wasn't communicated to the media nor, therefore, appraised in its true magnitude by the metropolitan society which Inspector Suasnavas has honorably and constantly protected. I was at the !YA! newspaper...

The Pigs

You have to be away from Italy to see Italy. Or maybe just slightly displaced within its borders—on one of the islands, for example. I was in Favignana a few years ago, and late one afternoon, on an old rented bicycle, I came to a cliff behind the island's little cemetery. I sat up there, gazing at the distant coast of Sicily, until I lost any sense of time. Someone had told me—or maybe I had only imagined it—that what one saw from that point was the part of the...
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