February brings our annual showcase of the international graphic novel. On topics ranging from Korean genocide to an inside view of French bloviation, love and intrigue in Mexico to mistaken identity in Israel, these artists delineate character and plot in their singular styles. In two looks at prostitution, Victoria Lomasko talks to the "girls" in Russia's fifth-largest city, while Mathias Picard's elderly woman recalls how she stumbled into the profession. Hadar Reuven's vulnerable boy makes a devastating choice, while Egypt's Donia Maher adjusts to a cryptic neighborhood. In two very different biographies, Kun-woong Park documents Heo Yeong-cheol's years as a dissident in 1940s Korea, and Ángel De la Calle travels to Mexico City on the trail of the enigmatic actress, model, artist, and spy Tina Modotti. Israel's Dan Allon plays many roles. In Iran, Nicolas Wild smokes opium and speaks of poetry. The pseudonymous government employee Abel Lanzac and Christophe Blain reveal the workings of French bureaucracy. We're also launching a new feature, International Translation Culture, featuring essays on translation reception around the world. This month, Spanish writer and editor Luis Magrinyà considers reviewers and readers. And we present the latest installment of Sakumi Tayama's "Spirit Summoning." 

Fiction Serial

International Translation Culture

Book Reviews

Julia Franck’s “Back to Back”

Franck’s story is engrossing—immediately, completely.

The “Girls” of Nizhny Novgorod

"It's the cops who make legalization necessary."

The Sugar Expert

They reached the streetlight every time, except once.

I Am a Communist

In February of 1949, police officers stormed in without warning

Weapons of Mass Diplomacy

Look, seriously, he's gonna make you rewrite it ten times.

Modotti: A Woman of the Twentieth Century

The epitaph on her tombstone was written by Pablo Neruda.

Hysteric Behavior #3

It's actually nice to talk to strangers.

The General

It’s the good stuff. Afghani.


That night, it was a Ford that stopped.