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April 2016

Women Write War

Image: Mary Sibande, "Everything is not lost,” 2011 Archival pigment print (Edition of 10) 87x113 cm Courtesy of Mary Sibande and Gallery MOMO

Images of war in media and elsewhere are largely populated by men; and while men may dominate battlegrounds, they also too often monopolize the narratives that grow out of them. In this month’s issue, ten women—infiltrators and dissidents, witnesses and survivors—write from on and off the battlefield to produce a singular group of war stories. Claudia Salazar Jiménez and Rocio Tábora examine the scars, figurative and literal, left by Latin American conflicts. In her innovative memoir, Noemi Jaffe raises questions about children’s identification with their parents' suffering. Relli Robinson's little girl is puzzled by two adults insisting on playing house. Alja Terzić imagines a Tweeting Tito. Playwright Sonia Ristic portrays a jaded war correspondent making a gruesome discovery. Poets Lyuba Yakimchuk and Lyudmyla Khersonska set the Russian-Ukrainian conflict to verse. Igiaba Scego examines the enduring legacy of racism in war songs from Italian-occupied Somalia. And Faleeha Hassan’s grieving narrator rewrites her cousin’s last battle. Also this month, we bring you our very first National Poetry Month feature, "(In)verse," featuring poets who translate each other’s work. Idra Novey and Flávia Rocha work between English and Portuguese, while Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Melcion Mateu dialogue between Catalan and English. 

Women, Writing War

It’s a dubious privilege that a woman can tell war stories as brutal and devastating as a man can.

The Scream

The Party. The Revolution. Blood. All of it, together.

Tito and Taxidermy, or What If Tito Had Been on Twitter?

The human factor is not essential. Sunscreen—now that's essential.


The Seed of Evil: Sarajevo 1995

You don’t become a war correspondent by accident or by chance.


From “What are the Blind Men Dreaming?”

The compassionate understand pain, but pain cannot be understood; those who suffer understand nothing.

The True Story of “Faccetta Nera”

A black woman, in the regime’s view, simply could not be an Italian.

From “Raking Light from Ashes”

"Now you’ll be our daughter a little bit too."

Crow, Wheels

Joyful relatives poured vodka for themselves / and for the dead


[The whole soldier doesn’t suffer]

The whole soldier shrugs off hurt.


Curfew . . .

But the evil blanketed her room and she agonized without remedy.

Mass Grave

Our hands could not grip anything as long as their hands gripped our lives.


Book Reviews

Pizarnik’s “Extracting the Stone of Madness” & Dabral’s “This Number Does Not Exist”

Reviewed by Kate Prengel

Pizarnik is a heroic voyager slaying demons and recovering lost languages . . . . Dabral returns again and again to childhood, to the difference between city and countryside, to a nagging sense of loss.

Kim Yideum’s “Cheer Up, Femme Fatale” & Oh Sae-young’s “Night-Sky Checkerboard”

Reviewed by John W. W. Zeiser

The old to the new: recent Korean poetry in translation.

Raja Alem’s “The Dove’s Necklace”

Reviewed by Lori Feathers

A sensual, surreal, and challenging novel by the first woman to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

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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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