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7 New Voices in English Translation to Read Now

By Words Without Borders

Each year, WWB is proud to offer a platform to dozens of international writers whose work has never before appeared in English translation. As 2021 comes to an end, we’re looking back at some of the most exciting and innovative voices that WWB introduced to English-language readers this year. 


1. Ahmed Isselmou

Writer Ahmed Isselmou debuted in English in WWB’s May 2021 issue, our first ever to feature writing from Mauritania. In an excerpt from his futuristic novel Outsider Mode, translated from Arabic by Katharine Halls, a devastating cyberattack threatens to destabilize the world economy.


2. Dinara Rasuleva

Russian slam poetry champion Dinara Rasuleva first appeared in English in the February 2021 issue of WWB, which highlighted new writing in Russian. You can find her poem “About Time to Smile at Homeless People” in Hilah Kohen’s translation, along with a video of Rasuleva herself reading the poem, on WWB here.


3. M. Navin

A prolific writer and publisher, M. Navin debuted in WWB’s first-ever issue of writing from Malaysia, published in September 2021. In his haunting story “Mona Fandey’s Cassette, or Gray Feather,” translated from Tamil by Sreedhevi Iyer, an antiques dealer is presented with a long-lost recording by real-life pop singer and assassin Mona Fandey.


4. Mario Michelena

Peruvian author Mario Michelena debuted in WWB’s December issue of Spanish-language writing from New York City. His short story “No One Really Knows Why People Shout,” translated by Lindsay Griffiths and Adrián Izquierdo, follows a legal interpreter in a New York courtroom as he tries to navigate a client’s inheritance dispute. (Keep an eye out for a collection of Michelena’s short stories that will be published in English translation in 2022!)


5. Rahma Nur

Writer Rahma Nur first appeared in English in WWB’s July issue featuring Afro-Italian women writers. Her poem “Linguistic Threads,” presented in three translations by Barbara Ofosu-Somuah, Alta L. Price, and Candice Whitney, documents Nur’s experience as a member of the Black diaspora in Italy.


6. Haukur Ingvarsson

WWB’s April 2021 issue of writing from Iceland introduced Anglophone readers to award-winning poet Haukur Ingvarsson. Translated for WWB by Meg Matich, Ingvarsson’s poem “Sinkings” explores humanity’s relationship to the changing natural world.


7. Susana Sanches Arins

Susana Sanches Arins debuted in English in WWB’s March 2021 issue of writing from Galicia, a small region of Spain with a unique language and literary culture. Read an excerpt from her genre-defying book And They Say, translated by Kathleen March, or check out an interview in which she explains her choice to write in Galician rather than Spanish. 


Related Reading:

11 Translated Books by Asian Women Writers to Read This #WITMonth

8 Queer Books in Translation to Read Now

The Best Translated Books You Missed in 2020

Published Dec 8, 2021   Copyright 2021 Words Without Borders

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