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March 2007

The World Through The Eyes Of Writers: Without Borders, Between Covers


Join us on the frontiers of international literature to celebrate our new anthology, Words Without Borders: The World Through the Eyes of Writers (Anchor Books), publishing this month. We asked many of the best-known writers in the world to introduce favorite writers yet unknown in English. Their choices resulted in our eponymous anthology: twenty-eight fresh literary talents from Norway to Haiti with writings that range from the sinisterly sexy to the broadly comedic. Here, a sampler of other works by some of our discoveries: Akinwumi Isola's hapless evangelist parses "The Grammar of Easter," while Juan Villoro's burned-out screenwriting brothers cast themselves as "The Guilty." Feral cats are demonic in Can Xue's "Bane of My Existence" and domesticated on both sides of the checkpoint in Hassan Khader's "Nora in Wonderland." Ambar Past provides mordant marching orders in "Practice for Hangmen," Evelyne Trouillot's impoverished beggar clings to her crazed roots "In the Shade of the Almond Tree," and Gamal al-Ghitani summits the pyramids in the mesmerizing "Annihilation." For more by these and other authors in the anthology that Kirkus Reviews calls "one of the best introductions to non-Western writers there is," run to your favorite bookstore.

Too late for the book and available here only: Kenzaburo Oe recommends the English-language debut of Akutagawa Prize-winner Akiko Itoyama, praising her "sharp eye and sly wit."

The Grammar of Easter (You Don’t Say That in English)

“Akin Isola remains one of our most versatile Nigerian writers.”—Wole Soyinka

The Guilty

The scissors lay on the table. They were unusually large. My father used to use them to cut up chickens. Ever since he died, Jorge takes them with him everywhere. Maybe it's normal for a

The Bane of My Existence

“Can Xue doesn’t trust reason.”—Ha Jin

Nora in Wonderland

“Like many Arab novelists and poets, he has turned to the essay.”—Ahdaf Soueif

Practice for Hangmen

“Ambar Past’s poetry is born out of the beauty of Chiapas.” —Elena Poniatowska


In the Shade of the Almond Tree

"Why doesn't your mother come back to look for you," constantly asked the woman.


“The most important Arab novelist today.”—Naguib Mahfouz

Waiting in the Offing

"Itoyama's sharp eye and sly wit set her apart from other Japanese women writers. Her writing style is intellectually controlled, and often glows with wisdom."--Kenzaburo Oe "My


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