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For literary responses to COVID-19 from writers around the world, check out our Voices from the Pandemic series.
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The Queer Issue XI


WWB Daily

July 6th, 2020

Confronting the Institution of Language: Juan Arabia on Poetry and the Pandemic

by María Agustina Pardini 

In the essay “The Poem as a Field of Action,” presented as a lecture at the University of Washington in 1948, William Carlos Williams argues that after the Industrial Revolution, a…read more

July 1st, 2020

10 Translated Books from India to Read Now

by Arunava Sinha 

Almost every time a literary publication in the Western Hemisphere commissions a list of the best novels from India, they turn out to be a compilation of books written in the English language.…read more

June 25th, 2020

The Watchlist: June 2020

by Tobias Carroll 

Each month, Tobias Carroll shares a handful of recently released or forthcoming titles in translation that he’s especially excited about.  From Milkweed Editions | The Blue Sky by…read more

June 23rd, 2020

Translating the Ancient Female Voice as Queer

by Gnaomi Siemens 

In Gnaomi Siemens's queer translations of Old English poetry, gender becomes fluid and the female voice proliferates. Today on WWB Daily, Siemens discusses how queer translation can…read more

June 19th, 2020

The City and the Writer: In Paris with Marilyn Hacker

by Nathalie Handal 

If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo…read more

June 17th, 2020

The Translator Relay: Kristin Dykstra

by Words Without Borders 

  WWB’s Translator Relay features an interview with a different translator every few months. The current month’s translator will choose the next interviewee, adding a…read more

Book Reviews

Adania Shibli’s “Minor Detail” Caps Its Author’s Long Quest for a Language of Life Under Occupation

Reviewed by Mona Kareem

With every line of this laborious novel, the Palestinian writer explores how war and conflict occur on the level of narrative, history, and the individual psyche. The result is an accumulation of details that store the trauma of those whose screams hang in the air of the past.

Ha Seong-nan’s “Bluebeard’s First Wife” Gives the Old Tale of Patriarchy a New Twist

Reviewed by Hannah Weber

A crucial voice in the burgeoning movement of feminist fiction from South Korea, Ha is a master of atmospheric suspense whose stories use shock and horror to dissect contemporary gender-based violence and its historical roots.

In Mieko Kawakami’s “Breasts and Eggs,” Oppression and Dissent Begin at Women’s Bodies

Reviewed by Saba Ahmed

This meandering narrative, distinguished with the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, keeps a steady focus on how social pressures and the passage of time come to bear on its characters’ corporeality.

Haiku and Suicidal Thoughts Haunt a Trip Across Japan in Marion Poschmann’s “The Pine Islands”

Reviewed by Max Radwin

In this unsettling novel, shortlisted for the 2019 International Man Booker Prize and just published in the US, an academic expert on the history of beards in cinema reads Bashō and tries to help a stranger find the perfect spot to kill himself.

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