Skip to content
Give readers a window on the world. Click to donate.

December 2012

(Non-Scandinavian) Crime

Image: Q. Sakamaki, "A policeman stands in front of a bus set fire. . ." Rio, Brazil, May 24 2007.

We're wrapping up the year with a look at crime, non-Scandinavian style. You'll find no dragon tattoos or icy fjords here, only an abundance of lawlessness from the rest of the world. In two chilling monologues, Umar Timol's murderer speaks to a dead audience, and Sergey Kuznetsov's sociopath finds killing is always in season. Rubem Fonseca's contract killer works both sides, Care Santos's exasperated writer sends a pesky journalist to his final deadline, and Italian best seller Andrea Camilleri defines a Mafia vocabulary. Washington Cucurto returns to the scene of a Cortazar crime. China's Sun Yisheng's police extract an unexpected confession. French graphic superstar David B. and Herve Tanquerelle track a bank heist; Willy Uribe's fugitive cuts to the chase; Morocco's Mahi Binebine shows a suicide bomber's first murder.  And Laurence Colchester and François von Hurter talk about publishing all crime, all the time. To skip this issue would be, well, criminal.

In our feature on New Writing from Korea, writer Kim Young-ha selects and introduces two dazzling works from Korea. Sim Sangdae observes fatal beauty, and Yun Ko-eun follows a woman whose work drives her crazy. We thank the Korea Literature Translation Institute for their generous support of this special section on new Korean writing. 

The Killer’s Monologue

Do I feel remorse? Of course not.



I don’t enjoy popping anybody, but it's my job.


False Faces: An Imagined Life of the Wig Gang

cover image

Remember that safe I carried off with Adjaj and Bernard and opened at my dad’s?

The Shades who Periscope Through Flowers to the Sky

“If you don’t go home, there’ll be bloodshed.”

from “Butterfly Skin”

It is good to kill in spring.


Aficionados of morbid details, you will be asking yourselves what method I used.


Defiled Woman

My two homies from Africa spent the whole damn day lying in bed or drinking mate in the fountained patio of the house.

from “Horses of God”

The spurting blood only excited him more.

from “Nanga”

I was surprised when he was the first one who came and tried to blackmail me.

from “You Don’t Know: A Mafia Dictionary”

When it comes to adultery, however, sometimes you have to turn a blind eye.

Partners in Crime: Bitter Lemon Press

Astonishing as it may seem, we haven’t published any crime novels from Scandinavia.


Book Reviews

The Canvas

Reviewed by Shaun Randol

The mystery is only the vehicle by which Stein delivers a Kafkaesque tale that constantly toys with memory, truth, and identity.

Lygia Fagundes Telles’s “The Girl in the Photograph”

Reviewed by Mythili G. Rao

Although Lia, Ana Clara, and Lorena can’t help thinking uncharitable things about one another from time to time, when they’re together, their connection is electric.

Niq Mhlongo’s “Dog Eat Dog”

Reviewed by Anderson Tepper

Has South Africa found its modern voice of the people, its cutting-edge bard of the townships?

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

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.