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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)

The rate at which Christian festivals were upstaging the local, traditional ones was accelerating. To the older generation, who professed the traditional religious faith, the rapid

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

I finally got rid of my cat. I thought this would enable me to start a new life. I sat at the table, eyes shut, thinking hard. I tried to tidy up my disordered, fucked-up feelings. But that

Nora in Wonderland

Unlike Alice's adventures, Nora's didn't start with the appearance of a late and harried rabbit, checking its waistcoat watch. In fact, hers began immediately after her birth,

Practice for Hangmen

When the world is filled with evil, Transform all mishaps into the path of bodhi. -The Mind-Training Slogans of Atisha The Egyptian forensic doctor Fakhri Ohamed Saleh told the Arab


In the Shade of the Almond Tree

Author's Note: Two major obstacles to happiness remain constant throughout the history of Haitian society: social and economic injustice, and totalitarian tendencies. Poverty can be as

Annihilation, from Pyramid Texts

. . . of an old family, much noted, mentioned in manuscripts that have yet to be printed. He personally was well known, much in demand in the town and elsewhere. Those with experience in

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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