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Articles tagged "Usa"

Only Connect

"Only connect," E.M. Forster famously advised novelistsóand this is the governing principle of the International Writing Program, which brings the writers of the world to the University of Iowa for three-month residencies. In retrospect, the IWP, as it is known, was a natural outgrowth of the Writers' Workshop, and yet at the time it seemed, in the words of its co-founder, Paul Engle, "the craziest idea" he had ever heard. The IWP was the brainstorm of the Chinese novelist Nieh...

Boarding Home

Introduction: Willie in Miami, Rey in Nueva York by Norberto Fuentes Three of us made up that sad brotherhood at the end of the Sixties in Cuba: Guillermo Rosales, Reinaldo Arenas, and their faithful servant. We called Guillermo Willie Van Der Roses, but now I couldn't tell you now why we Germanized his identity. Everyone else called him Guillermito. As far as Reinaldo was concerned, he was Rey. Rey was an add-on to our original duo, that of Willie and me, who had been together...

The Guilty

The scissors lay on the table. They were unusually large. My father used to use them to cut up chickens. Ever since he died, Jorge takes them with him everywhere. Maybe it's normal for a psychopath to keep his gun under the pillow. My brother's not a psychopath. Nor is he normal. I found him bent over in the bedroom, struggling to get his T-shirt off. It was a hundred and seven degrees. Jorge's T-shirt was thick and coarsely woven, the kind of material that sticks to you...

Jingzhen, Taiwan, 1978

Wu Quan was a character. Everyone in Jingzhen enjoyed poking fun at him. He was born short and small, with eyes, nose, and mouth huddled together on a face that belonged to the masses. Sporting a trademark mole on the tip of his nose, he would walk as if on tiptoe. He was, however, by no means a cowardly character. Just go ask around and you'll soon find out the many tricks up his sleeve. He had a very attractive wife who bore him five children. The two were inseparable. If someone...

from Canary

Characters: Siggi Grünebaum, an old diamond cutter Benny Schorsch, his partner Violetta Grünebaum-Moser, Siggi's daughter Roland Moser, her husband Elfie Schneider, a young woman The play takes place in the Diamond District of New York City, in the last year of the last century. Act 1 Lunchtime with Wagner New York City, 47th Street. It's a winter afternoon in the Diamond District. Siggi Grünebaum's small diamond store sits to the right of a passageway...

Escape from Disney World

After having spent his childhood doing comic strips and his youth doing animated cartoons, Mickey Mouse finally discovered his true vocation as a corporate insignia. In heraldic times, only mythological creatures or rampant beasts could aspire to adorn a coat of arms. In the century of the cartoon, it's only natural that the Magic Kingdom's logo is a rodent with gloved hands. Like the Mercedes star or the McDonald's golden arches, Mickey is a registered trademark. At this...

On the Death of the Author

Written on my soul is your face And when I write about you it is you that I desire -Garcilaso de la Vega There are stories that seem impossible to tell. It must be at least ten years since I traveled through California and since then, I've been trying to relate, without much success, the story of a great ending: that of Ishi, a Yahi Indian who was found in a state of nature in the remote cowboy town of Oroville, in the month of August 1910. I had always wanted to take a road trip...

from “The Perfect Novel”

Chapter Five We were working on "recording" the following scenes from my novel: the Sunday lunch in the garden at Manuel's house, where the two families part amicably, mothers and aunts included; Manuel's family life, Ana's, their respective conjugal misery, their children, the frustrations and pleasures of their daily lives and routines; we were about to arrive at the adulterers' next rendezvous which would end with the tragedy that would give rise to the plot of the...

A Failed Journey

They warned her that one more offense against good behavior and the promised trip to the promised land (the United States) would be cancelled and to please return the mechanical pencil she'd filched from her classmate Agni's backpack during recess, Agni who was sobbing inconsolably like a coward in the arms of fat "Miss Becky" in a corner of the classroom. The little brat, without any trace of shame or guilt, slowly pulled a Superman refillable mechanical pencil from under her...

from Chapter 1, The Autobiography of Fidel Castro

Beneath the shade of a tamarind tree in bloom My father was smoking under the tamarind tree while the women skinned the animals and peeled the cassava. Poor thing. I see him getting a breath of fresh air under the tree, a tree overshadowing the whole yard with its eight-meter-thick trunk and the small tamarinds flowering on its branches, its frond cooling and shading the property, its dense, brilliant green foliage marking its territory from twenty-five meters high, the extent of its...

Should Americans Read More Literature in Translation?

Should Americans read more world literature to rip away the blinders we so often wear when it comes to those who are "not like us"? "Yes" is the quick answer, the answer that salves our collective conscience, but it is that word should that has begun to bother me. Should has not gathered as many dedicated readers of works in translation as, well, as it should have. The proof is in the numbers. In the April 23 edition of the New York Times, an article by Dinitia Smith on PEN World...

Doors, Windows, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control

The Cuban novelist, essayist, musicologist, and diplomat Alejo Carpentier was celebrated during his lifetime as one of the greatest Latin American novelists of the twentieth century, and his reputation has only grown since his death in 1980. His own books, and the many books, articles and doctoral theses that continue to be written about his work, circulate widely in many languages, and lately more so than ever, since 2004 was the centennial of his birth. Though Carpentier has never had...

from Songs of Friendship and Love

Snoopy Goes to Kasimov I used to torture myself over the question, I was baffled by it: to what could I attribute the incontrovertible fact of my total lack of literary talent? A fluke of nature? Blind chance? Genetic aberration? And this in a family tree, mind you, that's produced five writers minimum, two of which, in the opinion of their contemporaries, made a sizable contribution to the treasurehouse of Russian belles-lettres. My grandfather, who during his lifetime was honored...

from “Mew” instead of “Moo”

I should declare in a steady and powerful voice that the world itself is just a prolonged "mew," which has been fried and served to us instead of a noble "moo." -V. Khlebnikov You ask me what America looks like? America looks like the Aegean Sea. In the West it is inhabited by tribes of bellicose Hollywood people. In the East there are trade cities of Phoenicians and New Yorkers. In the middle, there is a large archipelago of universities and colleges, and boats of cunningly smart...

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