Articles tagged "Nonfiction"


Brazil Beyond Rio

Any attempt to introduce Brazil in a single essay is fraught from the outset. The country is, much like the United States, a continental nation, the site of European discovery tales to rival our own,...

Death in the Amazon

The Assassination 1. They’ve set up the ambush by a small bridge across a stream. They’ve been hiding among the trees since early morning—and they’re lying in wait. They...

Falling in Love with Bahia & Brazil: On Negritude, Saudade, & Surrender

I have been trying actively to stave off a case of Brazil-o-philia since the early 2000s when I lived in pre-gentrification Brooklyn. Preventive care for me looked like resisting the allure of...

In Praise of Nonconformity: The Queer Issue

Welcome to our annual salute to international queer literature. This issue, our seventh, comes at a less than celebratory time in the US. The current presidential campaign has propelled public...

Bridging Distances: Three Hispanic Canadian Authors

There is a substantial gap in the current discourse on Latino Lit in North America. First, some context: The landscape of Canadian literature is vast and varied: It comprises works written in the...

On Cuban Time

A broad promenade runs up the middle of the leafy boulevard, still known to locals by its Spanish colonial name, Prado, that divides Old Havana from Central Havana. On weekends when the...

Interview with Mary Jo Porter

Images: Mary Jo Porter If paradise ends where choice begins, as Arthur Miller observed, then our digital age fantasy of paradise as a tropical island with no Internet collapses with our choice to...

Obama in Havana

December 17, 2014 The night before Raúl was to address the Cuban nation to make an important announcement I was invited to a gay party in Playa, a middle-class district of Havana. The host,...

Women, Writing War

Since Odysseus paddled home to Ithaca, most of the world’s great war stories have belonged to men. Men have written them and men have starred in them, because, for the most part, male soldiers...

From “What are the Blind Men Dreaming?”

The following is an excerpt from Jaffe's multi-generic book due out later this year from Deep Vellum publishing. Jaffe's book is composed of the individual voices of three...

The True Story of “Faccetta Nera”

“I was on a TV talk show the other day, and something curious happened.” Those are the opening words of a Facebook post that Maryan Ismail, an Italo-Somali political activist,...

From “Raking Light from Ashes”

Warsaw was awoken by a cold winter morning in January of 1943 that illuminated it with sad, gray light. Relli stirred in her sleep. She heard voices beyond the thick blanket that covered her up to...

Uyghur Modernist Poetry: Three Contemporary Writers

The Uyghur people, who live primarily in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, have for many centuries held poetry and poets in high esteem. While many aspects of Uyghur life have been altered...

Graphic Novels at WWB: The First Ten Years

Ten years ago Words without Borders published our first graphic novel issue, presenting seven pieces by French, German, Polish, Spanish, and Russian artists. We were so delighted with the result, and...

On Angoulême and Control

Illustration accompanying call for boycott. © Julie Maroh. The furor over the list of nominees for the Grand Prix of the Angoulême International Comics Festival (FIBD) should be...

The Reverberations of History: Contemporary Austrian Literature

The variety and exuberance of contemporary Austrian writing is little known among English readers. Often lumped into the unwieldy category of German-language literature or overshadowed by...

True Stories from Faraway Places: Paweł Smoleński and Polish Literary Reportage

Paweł Smoleński’s “Painting the Occupation” is a great example of what I love about Polish literary reportage. Through the story of Suleiman Shakir, a famous Kurdish...

Painting the Occupation

What did Suleiman Shakir paint? An abandoned house. An old man on a donkey. Children picking daffodils. The pictures didn’t need captions. Everyone knew what he was trying to tell them about...

Kyrgyzstan: Shade and Shadow

No Bukhara, no Samarkand, no meaning, just bare life in the rarefied air. That had been what I was after. A clarity of existence. To see sand sifting through the post-imperial rust. That would be...

The Languages of Alta Ifland

Alta Ifland’s writing raises important questions about the legitimacy and practice of autobiography that are too often taken for granted by American writers. In an alert literary age, the...

From “Paris–Athens”

To my father I. Silence I don't know when I started to write this book. I know that today is the 9th, I'm looking in my datebook: Sunday, November 9th, 1986, St. Theodore's...

This Animated Life: An Interview with David Polonsky

An interview with David Polonsky, the artist behind the Oscar-nominated film and graphic novel Waltz with Bashir. A few simple descriptions would suffice to understand just how rich and strange...

An Interview with Péter Esterházy

Péter Esterházy is one of Hungary's foremost contemporary novelists, having won literary distinctions both at home and abroad. A number of his works, including Helping Verbs of...

The Silence of the Outcasts: An Interview with Dacia Maraini

(Pescasseroli, Easter 2005) To meet with Dacia Maraini and speak with her in peace means going up to the bitter and severe lands of Abruzzo where the writer, who lives in Rome, takes refuge...

The Last Farm Novel?: An Interview with Michiel Heyns

I met Michiel Heyns—author, translator, and professor of English at Stellenbosch University from 1987 until 2003—last year when he was here in the U.S. as a visiting professor at...

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