August 22, 2014 | Kaitlin Hawkins

News, Reviews, and Interviews

After years of civil war and conflict, Afghan refugees are beginning to return home and bring with them waves of migrant literature.

The 2014 PEN/Heim Fund Translation winners have been announced, honoring 15 translators and their works.

What do you see when you read? Peter Mendelsund takes readers on a journey through their own imaginations in an excerpt of his new book, What We See when We Read.

Long-time WLT contributor and past Neustadt Prize juror Yahia Lababidi shares a poem for Gaza this week.

The last-known living speaker of the Native American language Wukchumni has written a dictionary to preserve the language through time. (For more on...

August 20, 2014 | Jim Drummond

The May 2014 issue of WLTIn WLT’s May 2014 issue, I was especially intrigued by the article on Mass Reading Events (MREs) by Danielle Fuller and DeNel Rehberg Sedo. In 2010 I attended a marathon reading of Frederic Tuten’s novel The Adventures of Mao on the Long March, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of its publication, in the beautiful Jane Hotel in New York City. Sixty readers and a few hundred others packed the first-floor sitting lounge, sitting on couches, easy chairs, folding chairs, and standing behind pillars and bannisters. Attending were well-known writers such as Oscar Hijuelos, Walter Mosley (both past students of Tuten), Jerome Charyn, and Wallace Shawn, not to omit numerous other distinguished authors and artists. One of the read...

August 19, 2014 | Miha Mazzini

Protestors dressed as zombies in Slovenia. Photo by Jumpin' Jack/Flickr
Slovene protestors dressed as zombies. Photo by Jumpin' Jack/Flickr

With political elites in power who, many claim, were out of touch with the people, the small, Adriatic country of Slovenia staged a zombie uprising in late 2012 and into the spring of 2013. At first, mostly peaceful protesters gathered to voice their dissatisfaction with the government in Maribor. But when officials dismissed them as “communist zombies,” the people responded, coming out in record numbers to demand change across the country. To thumb their nose at authorities, they came dressed as zombies. As unemployment rose—particularly among young adults—and many voiced dissatisfaction with their jobs, Slovene writer Miha Mazzini put pen to paper and picked up on the zeitgeist of the moment in mid-2013, drafting “Day of the Living Dead”—...

August 15, 2014 | Kaitlin Hawkins

News, Reviews, and Interviews

All of us wish a huge congratulations to the recently named NEA Literary Translation Fellowships, including past WLT contributors Wendy Call, Alex Cigale, Bruce Fulton, and Niloufar Talebi.

The Huffington Post will soon be appearing in an Arabic-language edition.

Last week the world noted the anniversary of the start of World War I, the war to end all wars. In response, the editors at the Poetry Foundation rounded up several notable WWI poems to help educate and remember.

When a group of parents tried to ban a Sherman Alexie novel from a local school, a few students stepped up to the challenge, distributing copies of the book to interested teens.

Read up on the art of translation with this compendium of essays from translators themselves.

For Your Calendar

Applications are open and the deadl...

August 14, 2014 | Sahar Mandour

32 by Sahar MandourA best-seller at the 2010 Arab Book Fair in Beirut, 32 follows the life of a young woman in her thirties, her four female friends, and a Sri Lankan domestic worker. The book sheds light on life in Lebanon from the perspective of women, giving voice to her generation in the aftermath of the civil war. This excerpt is about Hayat, a character that is introduced halfway through the novel as a childhood friend of Boudour, the narrator. It is only later in the novel, though, that Hayat’s true, surprising identity is revealed.

My friend, my neighbor growing up, is the same age as me. 

Her name: Hayat. Arabic for life.

I’m serious; her name means life. She was named after her aunt who was born sick and died a child.

Her fiancé, Qrunful, died a martyr. 

A martyr?


Hayat says he’s not a martyr....