Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Immigration"

Does “Immigrant Writing” Exist?

Image: Immigrants on the Steamer Germanic, illustration, 1887. Wikimedia Commons. This month’s issue on migration to and within Italy revisits a frequent WWB topic. It’s an endlessly variable subject, as diverse and specific as the people and countries involved. With this in mind, we’re returning to Saša Stanišić’s bracing “Three Myths of Immigrant Writing: A View from Germany,” from November 2008. A...

The Strange

Image description

Lots of stranges aren't here legally.


Noodling in New York

Image description

No Japanese person would call a cat Thomas Jefferson.

Panels read from right to left.

Señor Capitán

The lawyer beside me shrugs in silence. His body language seems to suggest that some stories can’t be captured in words. He tries nonetheless. To make his narrative more palatable, he loosens his necktie and speaks slowly, as if rationing out his words . . .. He’s a middle-aged man, tired and earnest. We’ve been talking for a while in the hotel bar. Drink in hand, he braces himself to tell of an episode he lived through, back when he was still in the Dominican Republic,...

Rizana

(Note: This story is based on the life of Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan girl convicted and subsequently executed in Saudi Arabia for the alleged murder of four-month-old Naif al-Quthaibi.) “Aunty, when will Rizana come? Any news about her?” Rizana’s cousin (a relative likely to marry her) works for a multipurpose store for a meager salary. He hadn’t known of her departure for Saudi Arabia. Had he known, he would have stopped her going. But no, everything happened...

The World Between: Writing from Ethiopia and Italy

Ethiopia has historically been a closed country, shielded by difficult geography and fiercely protective leaders who mistrusted the ever-invasive, ever-greedy foreigners that did manage to come in. In 1896, the great Battle of Adwa proved to the world that the small African nation could fight off—and defeat—an invading European army (Italy) with colonial aspirations. Ethiopia remained independent. Forty years later, in 1935, Benito Mussolini reminded his people of Adwa as his...

from “Etenesh”

Image description

When we get to Tripoli, you're on your own.


The Christmas Tree

Someone had placed a giant tree in the hotel lobby, a pine made of unrecyclable plastics. We’re in a strange land and Christmas is nearing. We see these things with a particular disdain, a particular apathy of islanders steeped in a system that alternates beauty with politics. Christmas, for us, is nothing more than faint nostalgia, our mothers’ childhoods, the tree in the corner of a color photo from cousins in Miami, the wool purse brought by someone from Russia when the...

Traces of Our Fathers

Writer, journalist, and filmmaker Alain Gordon Gentil has recently finished shooting four documentaries that retrace the great Indian, African, French, and Chinese adventure of immigration to the Mauritian land.  The series is titled “Venus d’ailleurs” [“They Came from Elsewhere”].   Memories from the set. I have never celebrated the past, but my childhood has had a way of hanging on. And when it has you in its grip, it conjures images that...

The Crossing toward Hope

1997. Day breaks under a raging downpour. It’s raining buckets. Raining screams. Raining mothers’ screams that drown out the thunder of the bullets raining down on their sons. It’s raining bullets over Mutsamudu. The Kalashnikovs fire away and stop.  Soldiers on the other side fall, fire back, run away. A rebel screams and falls. A bullet has lodged in his right leg and the blood is spurting out. The blood of independence, say the local media. The blood of...

Living to Write: An Interview with Doménico Chiappe

Jonathan Blitzer: “The Writer of Memories,” the story we’ve published in this issue of the magazine, is the first one to appear in your book of stories, Párrafos Sueltos (2003). And in several senses, the story contains some of the central themes of your work: immigration, the notion of place and location, the weight of literary tradition (and the anxiety that provokes). But in a fundamental way this story demonstrates an interest of yours that runs even...

The Writer of Memories

Of my first emigration, I have no memories. Of the country that I left, I think I may still have the images from some small colorless photographs. I cannot make out the pain of my mother’s good-bye to her family—or the trip or the landing of the plane or the embrace of my father when he reunited with us. Of my first years as a foreigner I recall a swimming pool where I never learned to swim; that once I got lost running through the lobby of a hotel where we were staying at the...

The Algerian and the Moroccan

This is my private diary from the year 2002. A large notebook of ninety-six pages with a deep-blue cover. I had lost it. I found it yesterday while cleaning, forgotten, abandoned for I don’t know how long behind my dresser. In the middle of this notebook there was, there is, an envelope on the back of which is written this title: “The Algerian and the Moroccan.” I knew what it contained. Words, words written as a couple, the Algerian and me. The tale of our...

The Night Sucks

Jerry Luján, a boy in a visor, is walking in a ditch alongside Menaul Street today.  It’s Tuesday, five o’clock in the afternoon, and night is already upon him.  In Albuquerque it gets dark like this, out of the blue, as if someone has suddenly yanked the tablecloth from off a table.  Jerry Luján dawdles with his hands in the pockets of his windbreaker.  We are in the land of trocas and truck-gear. Meanwhile, in the center of Burque, the...

The View from Within: An Introduction to New Afghan Literature

In a discussion at the House of Culture in Stockholm just over a week ago, the Afghan writer Atiq Rahimi, having summarized the last three decades of Afghan history, concluded laconically  that the present state was: “un chaos total”—a total chaos. Rahimi is far from alone in his assessment, but he is unusual in that he speaks to the situation as an Afghan, rather than an outside observer. It is the “chaos” this issue has tried to put in words—this...

To Arrive

When you get off the airplane, it will not be like Kabul airport, or like other cities of Afghanistan for that matter, where they drive stairs up and attach them to the door and then take down the passengers one by one. These days, there have been improvements everywhere, old man. But we, we are lagging behind, and war has taken us further and further back. The only thing we think of is devastation, and not creation . . . they will drive the bridge up and attach it to the airplane door,...

Hate

—That makes exactly four kilos. When she heard these words a smile spread across her lips and she looked at her little son… The shopkeeper kept talking: —Sister, take this money…it’s eight rupees. Once again she reached out her hand from her chador and took the money handed over by the shopkeeper. In the afternoon sun, she set off in a hurry toward her home. She walked in haste and held her little son’s hand tightly.  Her grip was so firm...

Contraband Forms: An Interview with Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga

Jonathan Blitzer:  You have written three books of poems, two short-story collections, and three novels.  But for the first part of your career—and while you lived in Granada, where you grew up—you dedicated yourself almost exclusively to poetry.  When, and why, did you turn to prose?  And does it have anything to do with your relocating to Madrid? Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga:  During the months I was living in Línea de la...

A Region of the Spirit: An Interview with Carlos Franz

Jonathan Blitzer: The stories that appear in La Prisionera, which you have recently presented here in Madrid, take place in the imaginary city of Pampa Hundida, which also exists in your novels. What is Pampa Hundida? Where is it situated, and how was it founded? Carlos Franz: Pampa Hundida is, above all, a region of the spirit, a mental space where desire runs up against obligation. Geographically, it is an oasis in the middle of the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world. It...

Spaniards Lost in America

Imagine that bus, a coffin on its roof. Its long shadow crossing the desert without witnesses, Pan-American Highway due south, coming from the Peruvian border. And here, in Pampa Hundida, we were waiting for it—with a mixture of fascination and morbid impatience to see how the whole thing would end. Still, sometimes, on glaring sunlit afternoons like this one, when the wind gusts and the dust of the pampas swirls up, I imagine that bus, and I still lose myself thinking about it on...

My Father’s Antenna

The rumor started to spread in the beginning of autumn, just after the first rains. Soon it became a certainty: the Belbal family had acquired a television set. To tell the truth, the villagers didn’t really know what a television set was, but that only served to enhance the tale. The watchman at the clinic was the first to recount how workers dressed in blue overalls had appeared one fine morning before the Belbals’ door and how they had unloaded an enormous crate from an old...

Beyond the Fog

1 Throughout the day English sahibs, memsahibs, and their baba log cross the bridge on mules and horses or riding in rickshaws and dandis. In the evening, the same bridge becomes the site of milling crowds of Indians. The swarm of rushing humanity going up and down the slopes huffing and puffing looks like the surge of a massive tidal wave. Movies starring Esther Williams, Joan Fontaine, Nur Jahan, and Khursheed are playing in the local cinemas. Skating continues in the rinks. In the...

Islamorada

During the twilight hours of one day in January, the professor and his wife arrived at a small motel on the beach at Islamorada, and checked in. After the New Year’s Eve parties, the place had emptied of guests.  It was hot and humid. Seaweed and snails piled up along the main road. Alongside the boats that docked in the marina, pelicans stood like statues on beams of rotted wood. The couple were exhausted and sweaty after their long drive.  They showered, changed into...

from “Broken Glass Park”

I hate men. Anna says good men do exist. Nice, friendly men who cook and help clean up and who earn money. Men who want to have children and give gifts and book vacations. Who wear clean clothes, don’t drink, and even look halfway decent. Where on earth are they, I ask. She says they’re out there—if not in our town then in Frankfurt. But she doesn’t know any personally, unless you count people she’s seen on TV. That’s why I always repeat the words...

The Knowledge Holder Doesn’t Choke on Cleverness

Feridun Zaimoğlu's Koppstoff: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft (1998) presents the fictionalized voices of twenty-six women of Turkish heritage living in Germany. "Koppstoff," which when translated literally means "head material," refers not only to the headscarf worn on the heads of many Muslim women, but also to what is going on in their heads—their thoughts, perspectives and inner lives. ındeed, the book seems to offer readers information "straight from the...

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.