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Congratulations to 2021 Ottaway Award winner Naveen Kishore! Learn more.
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The Slow Burn of Inner Chaos: Writing from Malaysia


WWB Daily

September 21st, 2021
  • First Read

A Long Way from Douala

by Max Lobe 

Max Lobe's novel A Long Way from Douala, translated by Ros Schwartz, is out next month from Other Press. The novel follows the narrator, Jean, and his friend Simon, as they…read more

September 20th, 2021
  • News

Announcing the Winners of the 2021 Poems in Translation Contest

by The Editors of Words Without Borders 

As a pandemic defined by isolation stretches ever onward, our third Poems in Translation Contest brought together 606 poems from 327 poets and 79 countries, translated from 61 languages. We are…read more

September 16th, 2021
  • Reading Lists

Around the World with Queer Kid Lit and YA: 13 Books to Read Now

by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp 

Books in translation have the power to challenge dominant attitudes and inspire new ways of seeing society—and ourselves. These thirteen books from around the world offer young readers…read more

September 14th, 2021
  • Essays


by Annie M. G. Schmidt 

Born in 1911, Annie M. G. Schmidt trained as a librarian. After World War II she moved to Amsterdam to work as the archivist at Het Parool, a newspaper that had begun as a clandestine…read more

September 8th, 2021
  • News

Naveen Kishore, Renowned Publisher of Seagull Books, to Receive 2021 Ottaway Award

by Words Without Borders 

We are pleased to announce that Naveen Kishore, publisher and founder of Seagull Books in Kolkata, will receive the 2021 Words Without Borders Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International…read more

September 7th, 2021
  • Interviews

Carl de Souza on Mauritian History, Multilingualism, and the Events that Inspired “Kaya Days”

by Jeffrey Zuckerman 

In the weeks after riots shook the seemingly tranquil island of Mauritius in 1999, the novelist Carl de Souza began writing a short, dense text that would become a nearly real-time depiction of…read more

Book Reviews

“Psychedelic,” “Profound,” “a Feminist Classic”: Magda Cârneci’s “FEM” Challenges Definitions

Reviewed by Jozefina Komporaly

Blurring genre boundaries, Cârneci's debut novel brings to life a mesmerizing landscape of female desire and frustration. As the fragmented yet captivating narrative examines the twin subjects of love and loss, readers are confronted with the ultimate feminist agenda of a woman’s right to choose, together with the numerous hurdles and dilemmas associated with it

“Last Summer in the City,” Gianfranco Calligarich’s Ode to a Long-Gone Lifestyle, Hits a False Note

Reviewed by Allison Grimaldi-Donahue

Set in a deserted Rome during a hot and melancholy August, this 1973 novel now touted as a classic rehashes a familiar theme within Italian literature and film: a country and art of malaise. At turns beautiful and frustrating, it ultimately feels like a pastiche of the works it attempts to keep company with.

Marina Jarre’s Stunning Memoir, “Distant Fathers,” Maps Its Author’s Peripatetic Search for Herself

Reviewed by Hannah Weber

“I’m Latvian, but I speak German and I don’t understand who Jesus Christ is,” wrote Jarre, who was born in Latvia to an Italian mother and a Latvian Jewish father, was sent as a child to live in a Francophone community in northern Italy, and later settled in Turin. Her memoir is a multilingual interior monologue which feels like the truest representation of memory (a flood of narratives, images, and dreams outside of time) and shows a woman fumbling for her identity while never feeling wholly at home anywhere.

Returning Home in Palestine: On Sahar Khalifeh’s “My First and Only Love”

Reviewed by Max Radwin

A new novel by the celebrated Palestinian writer travels back and forth in time, across decades, examining the way family, politics, and friendship in her homeland are shaped by violence and war.

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