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Congratulations to 2021 Ottaway Award winner Naveen Kishore! Learn more.

April 2019

Behind Closed Doors: Chilean Stories of Domestic Life

Image: Marcela Trujillo, FamilienKern, acrylic on canvas, 48 X 48 in, 2008. By arrangement with the artist.

This month, six writers from Chile show us why that country, famed as a land of poets, is also a land of exceptional prose writers. In Alejandro Zambra's short lyric piece, a bedsheet is a canvas and a record of family history, while Alia Trabucco Zerán brings us a tale of class conflict, connection, and human cruelty. In a piece by Nona Fernandez, a young woman discovers a physical deformity that provokes a reflection on the stories our scars tell of us. Bruno Lloret tells a tale of a wife battling terminal cancer and loneliness while her husband is out to sea. Boyhood friends reunite in Eduardo Plaza's short story, sparking a trip through the narrator’s memory that leads to a forgotten—and harrowing—episode, while Catalina Mena's manifesto dismantles notions of hearth and home. Guest editor Lina Meruane contributes an introduction.

Our special feature includes work by three contemporary poets from Mozambique, with an introduction by guest editor Sandra Tamele. Elsewhere, we present the third and final installment of our fiction serial, “The Tears of an Unknown Artist, or Zaytun Pasta.”


Book Reviews

Biljana Jovanović‘s Daring “Dogs And Others”: Growing Up as a Queer Woman in Communist Yugoslavia

Reviewed by Hannah Weber

Since its original publication in 1980, this genre-defying book has gained a cult reputation that established Jovanović as an important counterculture figure in Serbia. Written in a highly experimental style, the book follows a woman’s coming of age in 1970s Belgrade, creating a fragmentary amalgam of life in socialist Belgrade, intense sexual relationships, and family conflicts in the shadow of old age.

Narrative Missteps, Unconvincing Characters Plague Lina Wolff’s “The Polyglot Lovers”

Reviewed by Lily Meyer

A new novel by the Swedish author reads like a caricature of sexism in the literary world that ends up being as sexist as its misogynous protagonist.

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International Black Voices on Race and Racism

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