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Articles tagged "Maaza Mengiste"

The Act of Naming

Maaza Mengiste considers the role of identity in mourning the dead. Image: Alan Kurdi. Photograph by Nilüfer Demir, Dogan News Agency. We see the little boy at the same time as we understand the tragedy. He is face down on the beach, dressed in a red shirt and dark blue trousers, his arms oddly aligned at his side. The water laps hungrily at his head, seeping into his nose and mouth before receding back to the Mediterranean Sea. If we didn’t know the facts of his death,...

Dispatch from Florence’s Festival degli Scrittori

The ninth annual Festival degli Scrittori and the Premio von Rezzori, a Florence-based literary festival that culminates in a ceremony conferring the Premio von Rezzori for best foreign literary work and best translation of a foreign work, was held from June 10 through  June 12, 2015. It opened with a provocative Lectio Magistralis by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri, and concluded with the announcement that Vladimir Sorokin was this year’s winner of the Premio, as...

Just in Time for the Ball Drop…

Here are some of our favorite books in translation from 2012! Emma Garman My pick is Second Person Singular by Sayed Kashua, trans. by Mitch Ginsburg, an engrossing story about chance, fate and identity. Told from the dual points of view of an upwardly mobile Israeli Arab lawyer, and a young Palestinian social worker who takes a job caring for a paraplegic Jewish man, the novel combines a Tolstoy-inspired plot with a fascinating look at the evolving socio-cultural codes of...

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...

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