Image: Mona Hatoum, "Hot Spot," 2013, stainless steel, neon tube, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, 10/7/2016 –2/6/2017. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.
This month we’re marking our fifteenth anniversary by taking readers around the globe and through our archives with work by some of our favorite contributors. Many have appeared frequently in WWB throughout the years and have gone on to greater exposure and success in English translation. Admired and originally recommended to us by literary heavyweights such as Elena Poniatowska, Ha Jin, Edwidge Danticat, and Javier Marías, these writers reflect the dazzling variety of international voices that we’ve published in the last decade and a half. Akinwumi Isola’s sly portrait of cherubic Nigerian schoolchildren subverting a patronizing missionary, Johan Harstad’s depiction of an awkward teen toggling between a dreaded test and his crush on an anorexic classmate, and Goli Taraghi's stark account of her stay in a Parisian psychiatric clinic are just a few of the rich narratives collected here. We hope you’ll celebrate with us and continue to share our monthly explorations of writing from around the world.
Great Explorations: WWB at Fifteen
This fifteenth anniversary issue takes a look back at the work of fifteen of these authors.
The Bane of My Existence
“Can Xue doesn’t trust reason.”—Ha Jin
“Her narrative voice resonates with the inner geographies of the Palestinian space.”—Anton Shammas
“The most important Arab novelist today.”—Naguib Mahfouz
The Grammar of Easter (You Don’t Say That in English)
“Akin Isola remains one of our most versatile Nigerian writers.”—Wole Soyinka
from Wasted Morning
“The preeminent voice among contemporary Romanian women novelists.”—Norman Manea
“A 3-D portrait of the empathy one stranger experiences on behalf of another.”—Heidi Julavits
“Villoro always cuts through genres with the precision of a scalpel.”—Javier Marías
“He is a survivor, but he doesn’t write like one.”—Roberto Bolaño
"Trouillot’s most striking childhood memories of the Duvalier dictatorship remain the image of Duvalier’s militiamen searching her family’s and neighbor’s houses for publications and other works of art deemed subversive.”—Edwidge Danticat
The Karma Some Girls Have
“This story befuddles expectations and foils them.”—Ariel Dorfman
In “Moon Brow,” Shahriar Mandanipour Recounts the Iranian Revolution Through the Fragments of Trauma
Reviewed by Damara Atrigol Pratt
"Moon Brow", by Shahriar Mandanipour, recounts the recent history of Iran through a fragmented narrative structure that emulates the disjointed remembrances of trauma. While the political facets of its story report the grim consequences of the Iranian Revolution, the physical and emotional world described in the novel is alive with vivid and provocative encounters. The book offers beauty while confronting the ugliness of revolution, oppression, and war.