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October 2009

Foreign Correspondents: International Reporting

Image: Dan Eckstein

This month we present eyewitness accounts from around the world. In the spirit of the great Ryszard Kapuściński, our contributors record far more than just the facts, blending genres in filing dispatches from both political and literary frontlines. From the killing fields of Cambodia to the swarming streets of Tehran, on the ground and in the trenches, the writers here document the news of the world with artful urgency. See how Nanni Balestrini, Karl-Markus Gauss, Gébé, Elham Gheytanchi, Peter Fröberg Idling, Wojciech Jagielski, Erwin Koch, François Vallejo, and Abdourahman Waberi deliver news that stays news.

From “Pol Pot’s Smile”

Rows of skulls. Simple and incomprehensible.

Dear Torturer

Evil wears no gloves. You turned red with shame when the slice of cake tipped over onto the tablecloth. Because you've known for a long time what is appropriate in a German cafe. The

From “Towers of Stone”

I made a habit of visiting the refugees in the train standing in the middle of nowhere, outside the village of Karabulak. From far away you got the impression that the train had stopped

Rwanda: The Flame of Hope

1 The sunny side of life Recently one evening, as trails of ochre tinged with mauve kept stretching late into the sky of Mantua, I found myself face to face with Predrag Matvejević,

When Chaos Came to Salzburg

Pentecost, the peaceful holiday, had come, and Salzburg was something akin to a city under a state of emergency. By Friday, even schoolgirls from good homes did not make it all the way to

A Revolutionary Tradition: Shoars in Iranian Street Politics

As images of the bloody crackdown by government militias and plainclothes policemen on the peaceful demonstrations were broadcast after the controversial results of the tenth presidential

The Front

"The Front" is taken from Not-Quite-Botched Dispatches (But a Hard Sell for the Nightly News), a series of fictional reportages; as satire, they take for their target the trumpery and

From “Sandokan”

during the summer months I help my father I work in the orchard and during these two or three months of summer I spend fifteen or twenty days at the fruit dump I drive my father's

From “The Burning of the Chiado”

It goes quickly. Lisbon burns. The Frenchman has followed the fire's progress since morning. He was sleeping in his pension, Rua do Ouro. A roar outside, he pulled the curtains back. It

Blizzard in the Jungle, Part Two

cover image

North Korean intrigue in the African jungle.

Listen, everyone, the plane was sabotaged.


Book Reviews

Andrzej Stasiuk’s “Fado”

Reviewed by Robert Buckeye

"Everything happens at the same time. In the shadow of the nuclear power station at Cernovoda on the Danube, you can hear the rumble of carts drawn by donkeys, while herds of cattle wander across..."

Yu Hua’s “Brothers”

Reviewed by Brendan Hughes

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International Black Voices on Race and Racism

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