July 25, 2014 | Kaitlin Hawkins

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Hala Salah, the woman behind the only literature review to translate English works into Arabic, is embarking on a brand new venture: audiobooks for the blind.

At some point, all of us have struggled to learn a new language. But this creative piece at the New York Times shows that sometimes, the struggle to learn a new skill, like a new language, is truly beneficial for your brain, even in older adults.

In the first comprehensive study in English, East Asian languages and cultures Professor Ronald Egan argues that the poetry of 12th-century writer Li Qingzhao has been consistently misrepresented due to centuries of gender bias.

Banipal is celebrating its 50th issue with a fantastic feature on Arabic prison writing.

The age-old question: does poetry matter? Responding to a New York Times piece that ran this week, the Academy of American Poets provides a...

July 24, 2014 | WLT

Celebrating the First 10 Years of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature

featuring contributions from all six laureates and a retrospective by Kathy Neustadt

A Special Section on 21st Century Indigenous Literatures


  • An introduction by Cherokee scholar Joshua Nelson
  • Mongolian poetry plus an interview with translator Simon Wickham-Smith
  • An essay by Shon Arieh-Lerer on recovery and discovery in Aboriginal literature, plus poems by Samuel Wagan Watson and Yvette Holt
  • Charlotte Rogers interviews Milton Hatoum (Brazil)
  • Fables by Ribka Sibhatu (Eritrea)
  • Poetry in translation by Tóroddur Poulsen (Faroe Islands), Mikeas Sánchez (Mexico), and Yorgos Soukoulis (Greece)


  • Emily Hunt and David Shook’s interview with Roland Rugero (Burundi)
  • J. Madison Davis on ten milestones of a decade in crime writing
  • “The Nameless Saints,” an essay by Andrés Felipe Solano (Colombia)
  • “Best Wishes,” a story by A...

July 22, 2014 | Kathleen Heil

Kathleen Heil
Kathleen Heil

for Patricio Pron 

I don’t know when, exactly, I began to equate literary translation with the institution of marriage. But at some point I started to think that the experience of creating a short story or novel or poem in one language—when there exists what is known as an “original” in another—was not dissimilar to the condition of being married. I did not think, however, that the work of translation was a marriage between the mind of the author of the original text and the mind of the translator authoring the translated text, for that would be intolerable for both parties. Rather, I thought it was between the original author’s body of work and the mind in the body of the translator. 

I have never been married, not to another human being, anyway. Bu...

July 21, 2014 | Patricio Pron

Bench by a bay. Photo by Julie Skarwecki/Flickr
Photo by Julie Skarwecki/Flickr

What are masters for? Isn’t the relationship between master and disciple one of those relationships whose very existence depends on it never being named? 

Over the bay stood a rock that rose windmill-like toward the sky and then appeared to fall onto the town; there, where the rock ended and the sky began, lay a monastery in ruins. From the moment she rested her pencil on her notebook, she knew that the only way for her to get a good view of it all would be by facing the town from a point located somewhere out in the ocean, but since she only sketched what she could see and not what she imagined she’d see if she were somewhere else, she put the pencil and notebook back in her pocket. A car drove up and stopped near her and a...

July 18, 2014 | Kaitlin Hawkins

News, Reviews, and Interviews

The seven finalists for the 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature have been announced! The winning author will be named at the 2014 Neustadt Festival in Norman, Oklahoma.

New reports from the author herself reveal that Tibetan political dissident Woeser and her husband, Wang Lixiong, have been placed under house arrest in their home in Beijing. (For more information on Woeser and Tibetan literature in general, see this December 2012 blog post.)

One of the toughest decisions a bookseller has to make in day-to-day life is which books to shelve and how. In this recent piece for the Atlantic, Susan Coll describes the thought process that goes into such a decision and how booksellers c...