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Articles tagged "Susan Harris"

Baking the Presidential Cake, and Keeping a Finger in the Pie

After next Tuesday, many of us in the US may elect to never think about politics again. But if you’re fighting presidential race fatigue, you may catch your second wind from a detour into the Ugandan government captured in Hilda Twongyeirwe’s “Baking the National Cake.” As Minister of the Presidency, the loyal but clear-eyed David covers his boss’s many extended absences, herding the presidential mistresses, concealing personal use and abuse of...

How Does It Feel? We May Never Know

After last week’s startling prize announcement comes another surprise: the Nobel committee has yet to make contact with their anointed one. But as the Swedish Academy sends out a search party for their reluctant literature laureate, you can find Bob Dylan—or at least his influence—lurking in any number of WWB pieces. One, Enrique Prochazka’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” from our September 2015 Peruvian issue, borrows a title and...

A Reading List for the 2016 Frankfurt Guest of Honor

Next week’s Frankfurt Book Fair will celebrate the Netherlands and Flanders as the Guest of Honor. The theme of the festivities, “This Is What We Share,” reflects not only the common language, but the consistent depth and richness of literature in Dutch. We’re happy to point you to the wealth of offerings from the two regions in our archives. European Union Prize for Literature winner Peter Terrin’s telephone solicitor calls up trouble in “For an Easy...

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, noted, “if you look far back, two thousand, twenty-five hundred years, you discover Homer and Sappho. They wrote poetic texts which were meant to be performed, and it’s the same way for Bob Dylan. We still read Homer and Sappho, and we enjoy...

Hauntings: International Ghost Stories

Halloween, once the province of preteens on sugar highs and the occasional minor vandal, has morphed in the last few years into the second most profitable retail holiday in the US after Christmas, as adults transformed from mere spectators into gleeful participants. With the persistent encroachment of American culture, much of the world has also embraced the holiday. (Interestingly, this corresponds to the increasing number of young adult books being read by fully grown people.) As you...

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...

Our 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature Office Pool

Between the Olympics and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year’s candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Svetlana Alexievich, Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio, Naguib Mahfouz, and, of course, any number of contenders. The Nobels will start rolling out with Physiology/Medicine on October 3 through Economics on...

WWB Weekend: Willy Wonka and the Interstellar Chocolate Factory

With the death of Gene Wilder and the many remembrances of his Willy Wonka days, we’re finding both chocolate and solace in Yoss’s “Interstellar Biochocolate Mousse à la Solitaire . . . For Two,” from our May issue of Cuban speculative fiction. The annotated recipe for this “preferred dessert of astronauts who are embarking on long solo journeys” calls for the usual suspects—cocoa powder or chocolate, cream, sugar, eggs...

WWB Weekend: When the Earth Moves

Image: Local prefecture in L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy, after the 2009 earthquake. Wikimedia Commons. This week’s horrific earthquake in central Italy sends us back to the accounts of other quakes elsewhere, as survivors testify to the geographical and emotional havoc wrought by natural disasters. Dany Laferrière’s telegraphic “The World Is Moving around Me” captures the hallucinatory aftermath of the 2013 Haitian earthquake; he...

WWB Weekend: Three Summer Jobs from Hell

Image: Cubicles, 2006. Wikimedia Commons. If you, like us, are sulking at your desk while the rest of the world festoons Facebook with holiday snaps, perhaps you'll find some comfort in these tales of less-than-ideal summer jobs:   1. Caregiving in Suburban Amsterdam In the torrid height of an Amsterdam summer, watch a substitute caregiver sweat out his shift in an enigmatic old man’s stifling house in Anton Valens’s “The Ohio Hat.”...

WWB Weekend: Afterlives of Taiwan’s Women Writers

If the current issue has you itching to add more Taiwanese writers to your Women in Translation Month reading list, we suggest you head into our archives to revisit the haunted narratives of two of this month’s contributors.  In poet Hsia Yü’s “Soul,” a crowd of people in a darkened room, perhaps awaiting the start of a movie, sense the spirit of a woman long dead. She directs them to turn on a projector and appears...

WWB Weekend: Olympian Feats

We’re getting a leg up on the Olympics with a story of a different sort of national athlete. In Zhao Ying’s “Red Bean Sticky Cakes and Running,” a star Chinese runner tracks the source of her success. At seven, Wumi literally goes on the run with her illegally pregnant mother. This inadvertent training, and the resulting mental and physical stamina, jumpstarts Wumi on the road to athletic dominance.  Eluding the authorities, the fleet pair...

WWB Weekend: Ancestors of Pokémon Go

As the Pokémon Go craze sweeps and swipes through the world, and we at WWB live in fear of discovering that the office has been designated a gym, we seek refuge in a tale from the Stone Age of Internet gaming. In “The Universe on My Hands,” the Japanese game designer-turned-science-fiction-star Hiroshi Yamamoto presents The Celestial, a club named for the starship setting of the group’s online collaborative novel. Each of the sixty club members assumes...

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 discourse to new lows of coarseness and blunt prejudice, and the euphoria following last June’s repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act has petered out in the face of continuing anti-gay sentiment, most recently expressed in the rancorous debate over transgender bathroom access. Behind the bigotry...

WWB at AWP

WWB's panel at AWP: Karen Emmerich and Kareem James Abu-Zeid (top photo); Edward Gauvin, Shabnam Nadiya, and Susan Harris (bottom photo) Last week, WWB was in Los Angeles for the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference. Editorial director Susan Harris led a fascinating and engaging panel on “The Translator as Coauthor: Collaborative Translation” with WWB contributors, each of whom discussed their diverse experiences working with authors to...

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 with the response, that we made it an annual event, scheduled each February to coincide with the conclusion of the Angoulême Comics Festival, the most important in the field. As our fondness for the form and our awareness of its singular narrative ability increased, we also began...

Dispatches from the 2013 Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair

The Literary Translation Centre, now in its fourth year, held sessions at the London Book Fair (April 15-17) on topics ranging from translating culture in times of conflict to logistical issues like how to become a literary translator and what publishers want. Words Without Borders' own Susan Harris moderated the panel "Migrant, Diaspora and Minority Writing and Translation" and Samantha Schnee moderated the panel "A Common Language:  Literary Translation in the US and UK." You...

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...

Translation Roundup

READ Honors and Awards Congratulations to the 2012 ALTA Fellows: Janet Kim Ha, Hai-Dang Phan, Claire Van Winkle, Alexandra Berlina, and WWB contributor Joshua Daniel Edwin! Interiews, Articles, Reviews The well-beloved and prolific translator Michael Henry Heim passed away this week. You can read moving tributes to him by Chad Post, Susan Bernofsky, the PEN American Center, and our own Susan Harris.  On the Daily American PEN blog, Deji Olokuton writes about his recent...
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