955 entries in Mag: Articles

Some Other Zoo

It was as though she knew exactly where she had to go, as though it was an agreed appointment. She raised her arm to take my hand, pulled gently—she did almost everything gently—and I followed…...

Amir

This one’s family, Amir would say with a hand on my shoulder, his fingers large and heavy but kind. The other person would look at me, then look at him, then smile slightly before putting out his…...

Paranoid City

“Did you hear that noise?” the woman whispered, leaning on one elbow in bed, and opening her eyes wide. “What noise?” her husband asked sleepily. “It sounds like it’s…...

from “With Absolute Passion”

Days drift away slowly and quietly deep inside Guatemala. No inner musings. No pondering or ideas. Just a numbing silence, which reminds me of Buddhists and their thoughts about beginners’ minds…...

The Ape

I used to think it an exaggeration that Latin American dictators were always depicted as apes in cartoons. Until one day . . . On the railway track, hundreds of soldiers appeared in their camouflage gear,…...

Raspberries

Papá gave me this notebook. It’s so you can draw life, he told me from bed, and write, when you learn how to write, he said, his eyes sunken deep, as I played on the rug. He gave me the notebook…...

Young Aurora and the Captive Child

Every time I go back to Guatemala City I make a stop at Avenida Bolívar, the capital's main thoroughfare, with all the reverence of a mourner at a cemetery. The ravenous traffic, and the…...

A Bedtime Story for Eid

Translator’s note: Zaher Omareen’s tale takes us on a journey back to 1980s Hama, zooming in on some of the individual victims of the massacres and disappearances committed by the regime there,…...

Falling Down Politely, or How to Use Up All Six Bullets Instead of Playing Russian Roulette

But where’s the skill in loading a gun with just one round of ammunition and pointing it at your head, trying your luck at deliverance? The ingenious thing would be to fill all six chambers and let…...

The Witness

He rested in wildflower-whelmed cemeteries in the yards of wooden churches. —José Antonio Ramos Sucre, “El peregrino de la fe” When I chanced upon a weblog, whose text was also…...

The Stone Guest

Suhrob Surataliyev’s friends used to tease him by calling him Zurab Tsereteli. Suhrob was a sculptor by trade, but he was somewhat less of a household name than the popular Tsereteli, whose oversized…...

The Curse of the South

“Two kinds of people live in this city: The ones who were born here, and those who came here, fleeing something. Me, I wasn’t born here!” When his fever peaked and he started to sweat,…...

The Latch

On the thirteenth night of his marriage, sixteen-year-old Mannuram Chidimar is sleeping with his back turned to his fifteen-year-old bride, Sunwati. Sleeping with Sunwati is proving more torturous than…...

Candy

After leaving the Pajero at the district headquarters, the personal assistant and I headed out on foot. A village road. Dirt and dust. A horrid stench. Shit and dung. Why had the villages become so filthy?…...

Chicago: Present-Day Paradise, Future Magic

The great Iraqi writer Mahmoud Saeed was imprisoned in Iraq six times between 1959 and 1980. He left Iraq in 1985 and has lived in Chicago since 1999. He wrote this essay on the eve of his departure to…...

On the Fourth Day

He arrived on a golden-yellow tricycle and offered to tow me. Frail sexagenarian, sickly thin frame, angular face, his craggy skin suggesting an old case of the chickenpox. A lightly broken-in cowboy hat…...

Bag of the Nation

I took the big bag that I had inherited from my grandfather down from the attic. It was brightly colored like a storm of rainbows. I hoisted it onto my back and went out into the street. I closed my eyes…...

An Introduction to Finnish Literature

Finland is an enlightened modern Nordic welfare state, wired, highly literate and technologically advanced. Finland is also the most sparsely inhabited country in the European Union, mostly covered in…...

Letter to Lethe

Just so you know, my beloved daughter, they tell me I was a charming man, the kind of witty rascal whose arms women had the bad habit of throwing themselves into. “You would have liked yourself,”…...

The Message Bearer

In the entrance hall of the library the children’s coats let off the damp smell of an autumn day. The patter of feet, the giggling of girls, the scrapping of boys: the sounds filled the quiet space…...

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