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About Words Without Borders

Founded in 2003, Words Without Borders expands cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages. We seek to connect international writers to the general public, to students and educators, and to the media and to serve as a primary online location for a global literary conversation.

To date WWB has published well over 2,700 writers from 141 countries, translated from 132 languages. These include writers like Elena Ferrante, Svetlana Alexievich, Han Kang, and László Krasznahorkai before they became international sensations; today’s literary stars, like Olga Tokarczuk, Osama Alomar, Mariana Enríquez, and Gunnhild Øyehaug; and many new and rising international writers such as Négar Djavadi, Han Yujoo, Gabriela Wiener, and Basma Abdel Aziz. Our monthly online magazine publishes high-quality English translations of contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as reviews of thought-provoking new books in translation. Our blog, WWB Daily, offers commentary, interviews, and essays on timely topics related to translation and international literature. Our free public programs introduce international writers and literary translators to live audiences in New York City and elsewhere. 

Over the years we have partnered with publishing houses to release six print anthologies, including Literature from the “Axis of Evil”: Writing from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Other Enemy Nations (The New Press) and the e-anthology Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years.

WWB Campus – International Literature in the Classroom

Launched in May 2017, WWB Campus ( is a free website that connects classrooms to contemporary international literature, multimedia cultural resources, and standards-aligned teaching tools. Through in-depth engagement with stories from around the world, WWB Campus enriches students’ understanding of the world and inspires empathy across cultures. The WWB Campus website currently features writing by more than 80 WWB authors from five countries, including “godfather of Japanese manga” Osamu Tezuka, Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi, and bestselling Mexican novelist Aura Xilonen. 

Recognition and Praise

Winner, 2018 Whiting Foundation Literary Magazine Prize

Honorable Mention, 2018 National Book Foundation Innovations in Reading Prize

Winner, 2016 London Book Fair International Excellence Award for a Translation Initiative

“All hail to Words Without Borders, which, with its monthly magazine and publishing partnerships, brings to us, both online and in book form, treasures from around the world. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between, this extraordinary journal celebrates new voices and international masters alike. In our world, provincial and atomized as we are in spite of globalization, there’s no more important literary enterprise.” —Claire Messud

“A handbook for understanding the world.” —Reza Aslan

“For all things translation, WWB remains the gold standard.” —Stephen Snyder, Dean of Language Schools, Middlebury College 

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