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Words Without Borders is an inaugural Whiting Literary Magazine Prize winner!

June 2018

The Queer Issue IX

Image: Việt Lê, "untitled self-portrait (time for tea)" from the "untitled self-portraits" series, 1999-2001, gelatin silver print, 11 X 14 in., edition of 7 + 1 AP. By arrangement with the artist.

Welcome to our ninth annual queer issue. With gritty realism and unfettered invention, in settings ranging from occupied Iraq to rural Cuba, the eight writers here offer their perspectives on contemporary queer life. In two tales drawing on historic events, Mortada Gzar’s Iraqi barfly occupies himself with American soldiers, while Remigiusz Ryziński tracks Michel Foucault as he cuts a swath through 1950s Warsaw. On the fantastic side, Choi Jin-young sees two young women come together in the wake of an apocalyptic event, and Prabda Yoon’s suicidal transgender woman rises above it all. Tina Amodt’s lesbian couple drive to their isolated cabin and feel a chill settle in, and Sahar Mandour’s famous Lebanese actress is blindsided by an unexpected role. Abilio Estevez’s teenage boy dives into sexual discovery. And poet Nha Thuyen interrogates relationships and pronouns. Elsewhere, we present fabulist fiction from three Hong Kong writers, introduced by Jennifer Feeley.

Beyond Queer: The Queer Issue

The contributors to our Queer issues produce narratives that elude facile compartmentalization.

While He Was Sitting There

He’s the third white soldier I’ve met this month.

From “Foucault in Warsaw”

Why was he the one with the keys to Michel Foucault’s apartment?

Dori and Jina

I didn’t know Dori’s wounds, and Dori didn’t know mine—perhaps that’s why we could see each other as we were in that moment.



One day this violation will be in the past, consigned to oblivion, long forgotten.


I can’t stand that one the way someone with a chronic sinus infection can’t stand abnormal shifts in weather.


The Light Never Reaches Here

In the wilderness, you live in a simple house, you wake to your beloved’s face, you almost exclusively hear her voice.

Belly Up

'Mantique thought today at sunrise would be a good time to kill herself.

The Lagoon

The present, very often, takes its definitive shape in the past.



Book Reviews

Recent Issues

Turning the Kaleidoscope: Writing from Lebanon

The Queer Issue IX

The World through the Eyes of Writers: Celebrating Fifteen Years

Several Worlds Simultaneously: Seeking Argentina

Charged with Humanity: Six Hungarian Women Writers

International Graphic Novels: Volume XII

Singular and Universal: Stories of Parents and Children

Under a Different Light: Writing by Tunisian Women

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