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April 2010

PEN World Voices

Image: Jaclyn Conley, Untitled (Flags), oil on canvas, 48x60,” 2007

The PEN World Voices Festival launches its sixth annual celebration of global literature at the end of this month, and we're kicking off the party with a sampler of new writing from a selection of the participants.  From an orphan’s rage to a widower’s serenity, in bleak housing projects and luminous seaside resorts, writers explore topics local and universal. See how Alina Bronsky, Assaf Gavron, Valter Hugo Mãe, Quim Monzó, Sofi Oksanen, Atiq Rahimi, Andrzej Stasiuk, and Jean-Philippe Toussaint create their own worlds in strikingly varied voices. And don’t miss WWB’s panel discussion featuring Quim Monzó, Peter Schneider, and Jean-Philippe Toussaint discussing the essay on Saturday, May 1, from 5:30 to 6:30, at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue.

Words without Borders gratefully acknowledges for its grant in support of the publication of the April 2010 PEN World Voices issue.

Mr. Beneset

Mr. Beneset’s son arrives at the geriatric home and greets the girl at reception


The nurse walks into Room 93 pushing a cart carrying a tray with a glass of water, a jar of capsules, a thermometer, and a file folder rest.


Let’s not talk about Prague.

Imaginary Return

It was night. The ninth night. The most silent, the most oppressive.

from “Broken Glass Park”

I hate men. Anna says good men do exist. Nice, friendly men who cook and help clean up and who earn money.

from “Purge”

She was just going to make a tour of a country that she’d never seen before

from “Almost Dead”

I climbed aboard the Little No. 5 as I did every morning on my way to work.

from “Dukla”

One Saturday the summer vacationers appeared.

from “the workers’ apocalypse”

at night maria da graça dreamed that souvenirs of life on earth were on sale outside the gates of heaven.


Book Reviews

Jorge Volpi’s “Season of Ash”

Reviewed by Lucy Popescu

Horacio Castellanos Moya’s “She-Devil in the Mirror”

Reviewed by George Fragopoulos

She-Devil takes place entirely in the mind of a single protagonist who is on the precipice of madness.

Jo Nesbø’s “The Devil’s Star

Reviewed by Mythili G. Rao

Twenty-three-year-old Camilla Loen has been found dead in her Oslo apartment, her finger severed, a red diamond star under her eyelid.

Martin Page’s “The Discreet Pleasures of Rejection”

Reviewed by Emma Garman

Virgil is a navel-gazing thirty-one-year-old who lives in Paris, works as an advertising copywriter, and always dresses in corduroys

Recent Issues

Animal Kingdom

Our Nueva York: Writing the City in Spanish

The Language of Identity: Kaaps Writing from South Africa

Voices on the Verge: Writing from Southeast Asian Creole Languages

The Slow Burn of Inner Chaos: Writing from Malaysia

Backstories: Afro-Italian Women Writers

The Queer Issue XII

Movement and Multiplicity: Writing from Mauritania

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