178 article(s) translated from French

The Seed of Evil: Sarajevo 1995

In a story that spans more than two decades, scenes from armed conflicts in Beirut and Sarajevo are portrayed in a literary diptych as six diverse characters struggle for survival and self-definition...

The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers

“Belgium really is the birthplace of Surrealism,” sighs Dassoukine, staring into the distance. I don’t respond because this phrase seems like a prologue—and in the face of a...

From “Photograms”

Our country has no more warriors only timeworn fig trees beaten thoroughly by the thousand winds of our plight. The barefooted angels with pathetic faces at the bottom of our ramparts die with each...

A Red Lighter in the Heart of M.

The weight of the world is visible in your eyes, heavier and fuller than the generous breasts of the unfamiliar girl seated across from you. She tells you her name is Hiba and says she lives in the...

From “The Dove-Text”

The Arabophone poet Abdallah Zrika composed a volume of French prose poems, La Colombe du texte (The Dove-Text), during his three-month residency at the Centre International de la...

Infinite Fall

In Infinite Fall, his second book, Mohamed Leftah takes up one of the “small true facts of the past” (Stendahl’s term). In Leftah’s hometown, a high school boy leaps to...

From “Dreams of a Berber Night, or The Tomb of Thorns”

Your pain Scars my blood With a fire Always smoldering   Your smile Escapes Their chains To light up My body   I sink Into the darkness Of your night To drink it in   Heart...

They Told You

Stick a toothpick of silence in your mouth! That your word should never bear witness! That your song should never be the echo of fire While a fire is being prepared for you in the afterlife! They...

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 Garden of Tears

Translator's note: Driss and Souad are in their late twenties and recently married. Driss is a nurse and Souad is a cook at one of Marrakech’s finest restaurants. Their lives mirror those...

Saad

Saad bursts into the bedroom, where David is resting after lunch, and declares: “They’re coming! Quick, Monsieur David, let’s go see them!” The whole town seems to race...

Abandoning Myself

Burning, the needle that gently scrapes my skin, that doesn’t press very deep, that moves along slowly, that skims my flesh beneath the surface, that injects black ink blood between the two...

The Conspiracists

One day, an uncle of mine called Alphonse sent me to get advice from his childhood friend who’d become a policeman. The friend’s name was Anatole Rabe. He’d steadily climbed the...

Omeo Zamako

He lives in the land of impunity. Although he didn’t choose to live here, he loves it and he would not live in another place. His land is beautiful: milk and honey flow there and everything is...

Nenitou

Crayfish leap backward in huge bounds, which I loved. But later, I’d find their own excrement in their heads.   Lord Rat washes his face, he is bald. Lady Mouse trills, she is toothless....

Blastomycosis

Before starting his nightly route, Lemizo patted himself down to make sure that he had all the tools of his trade. On his left shoulder: a scrap paper bag glued around a large, empty, white metal...

Auntie’s Eggs

Tragedy has struck the Rambahy house: Ikalamainty, the black chicken, has just joined her ancestors on Mount Ambondrombe. Her demise brings great sorrow: a steady source of income for the household...

Wife Sold at Auction

On this morning, the old musician stops playing the moment I bend my lanky bag of bones and squeeze through the tiny doorframe of his home. I’ve stopped greeting him, at least while he’s...

One Times Two

Hamban-Joky and Hamban-Jandry were twin brothers, unusually identical brothers. They looked the same and acted the same. Their mother, Velonaina, mixed them up. Their father, Tsiahoana,...

The Anarchist

First published in 1980 and republished in 2011, l’Anarchiste has never earned Soth Polin the literary status in France merited by the quality of its prose, whose luminosity is...

From “Baho!”

Nkunda kurya yariye igifyera kimumena amatama The glutton ate the snail; it made his cheeks explode By the time the sun’s luminous fingers had come to rest on Hariho’s fields, his neck...

Izina

History will remember this man Our grandchildren will study him between school recesses Old women will speak of him as a strange enigma A myth, an eccentric aberration . . . The old men will brush...

The Avenging Whip

The weather’s so hot at the moment that I can’t be assed to do anything. I spend all day vegging out in front of the TV, watching shows aimed at the unemployed, even though I have a real...

Cinépanorama

“My son can ensnare you, you know. It comes right out of his eye.” —Edith Arnold-Delon   1954 Service number T 1023 T53. You board in Toulon, headed for Indochina. Another...

In Search of the End of the World

I was brought into the world on a day of black misery. My mother, desperate and drained of strength, was nothing but skin and bones. Her body had become a frozen desert. She died in her struggle to...