Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Migration"

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 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,...

The Poet Cannot Stand Aside: Arabic Literature and Exile

Fourteen hundred years ago and more, the poet-prince Imru’ al-Qais was banished by his father. The king exiled his son, or so the legend goes, in part because of the prince’s poetry. Thus it was that, when the king was killed by a group of his subjects, al-Qais was traveling with friends. Al-Qais returned to avenge his father’s death, but afterward spent the rest of his life in exile, fleeing from place to place, writing poetry and seeking support to regain his...

Exiled in Europe: An Interview with Three Women Writers

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has often examined the question of exile in essays and articles. Exile is indeed a place, he has written, a desolate space where one must confront the question: “Is there a moment when you know intuitively and accept that you have now truly arrived in exile?” He also suggests that a writer’s temperament is that of “a creature in a permanent state of exile,” since his or her real vocation is the eradication of the barriers of reality....

from The Lost Country

The Gypsy Princess and the Nightingale The truth is that, in the days of yore, the Gypsies had a country. Now they keep searching for it in vain, the wheels of their wagons wearing ruts in the roads as they travel them back and forth, looking for a hidden spot of earth somewhere under an out-of-the-way patch of sky. Only in their souls does the hope still exist that one day they will find their country. Then they will gather together from the farthest corners of the world where they...

The Bride from Odessa

One spring evening in 1890, from his vantage point up on the Primorsky Boulevard, a young man was watching the movement of ships in the port of Odessa. Decked out in his Sunday finest, he contrasted as much with the everyday casualness of most of the passersby as with the exoticism of others. The fact is, the young man was dressed to set out on a great adventure: his mother had given him his varnished leather shoes; his uncle, a tailor by trade, had completed his made-to-measure suit...

from Before the End

1 I walk along the Avenida Costanera Sur,1 contemplating the portentous river, traversed just over a century ago by thousands of Spaniards, Italians, Jews, Poles, Albanians, Russians, and Germans, driven from their own countries by hunger and poverty. The great visionaries who governed the country at the time offered the Pampas, this metaphor of nothingness, to "all those men who are willing and able," all those who needed a home, a ground in which to lay their roots. After all, it is...

from Étoile Errante

Set first in the village of Saint-Martin in southeast France, then in the refugee camp of Nour Chams, Étoile Errante (Wandering Star) tells the story of two teenage girls on the threshold and in the aftermath of World War II: Esther, a French Jew who flees for Jerusalem with her mother, Elizabeth, just before the German occupation; and Nejma, a young Arab orphaned and unable to return to the ancient city of her birth, Akka, after the Israeli declaration of statehood. The following...

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