IN EVERY ISSUE

  •    July 2013
    Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris Little, Brown, 2013   In David Sedaris’s new collection, the essays begin with a visit to his Parisian dentist and end with his first colonoscopy. In between, Sedaris takes us on an international tour of his experiences, dipping back into the past to explore his early years—particularly his relationship with his father. At times funny, at...
  •    July 2013
    More than a century after the abolition of slavery, the market for human beings is alive and well. From violent abductions and the sale of family members to voluntary participation due to a lack of empowerment and viable alternatives, human trafficking is a global phenomenon that results in the exploitation and victimization of tens of millions of women, men, and...
  •    March 2013
    Angela Rodel, tr. Open Letter Books, 2013 “I believe that the longer I keep the shutter open the more life gets captured on the negative.” Bulgarian-born novelist and playwright Zachary Karabashliev entertains and surprises in his debut novel, 18% Gray, with a protagonist of his own namesake—Zack—whose heedless personality is comically blunt, often...
  •    July 2013
    Lara Candland and Christian Asplund. Photo: Curtis Asplund “World music” has become part of an advertising lexicon promising the buyer of CDs entrée into unfamiliar conventions. The operatic creations of husband and wife team Christian Asplund (composer) and Lara Candland (poet/librettist) promise listeners something similar.  Asplund and Candland helped create Seattle Experimental Opera, a guer...
  •    March 2013
    A friend recently came across a book review that described my novel, The Darlings, as a “financial thriller.” She wrinkled her nose. “Financial thriller?” she asked me. “Isn’t that an oxymoron?”   At first blush, finance can seem dry. The language of hedge funds and bond trading is admittedly anything but thrilling. The financial world is, however, wonderful...
  •    March 2013
    Inuit solo throat singer Tanya Tagaq Gillis. Photo: Sarah Race The Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic share an ancient form of music called katajjait (throat singing). Often improvised, women perform katajjait in pairs standing face to face, trading off rhythmic, guttural sounds through vocal manipulation and breath...
  • Life is More Beautiful Than Paradise
    Translated literature is for grown-ups—or so goes conventional anglophone wisdom. And yet there are excellent translated titles available for younger readers, offering them a broader literary palate.  Since 1968 the US-based Mildred L. Batchelder Award has celebrated translated literature for young readers. This year, Lebanese author Zeina Abirached’s graphic novel A Game for Sw...
  • The Bridge of Beyond Simone Schwarz-Bart, Barbara Bray, tr. New York Review Books Classics, 2013 Born in 1938 on the southwest coast of France, Caribbean writer Simone Schwarz-Bart spent her childhood in Guadeloupe, an island in the Lesser Antilles. She later studied in Paris, where she met and would marry the French writer André Schwarz-Bart, with whom she has co-authored a number of works. She...
  • Lovetown by Witkowski
    In the print edition of WLT, I recommended LGBT books with a political slant. These books reflect the importance of our role as artists. At the intersection of art and sexuality, art must truly reflect who we are in the context of our worlds and ourselves. These additional books address the journey of that responsibility.   Sea and Fog Etel Adnan Born in Beirut, Lebanon,...
  • The Dailiness
    While working on the “Classics Rekindled” section that appears in this issue (page 35), I was struck by the following words from Anne Carson: “Every time a poet writes a poem he is asking the question, Do words hold good? And the answer has to be yes: it is the contrafactual condition upon which a poet’s life depends” (Economy of the Unlost: Rea...
  • Kenya is a country in transition. For decades, the country enjoyed a reputation as an oasis of peace in a troubled east African region. But behind this façade of peace, Kenya's full potential continued to be stifled by poor and dictatorial leadership, ethnic chauvinism, and corruption. Kenyans are a resilient lot, and we believe our country has great potential, from sporting excellence and gr...
  •    March 2011
    Zainab. Zaina-a-a-a-b. Zainab. Is it really you catching me in this muffled moment? No, you have not changed. But where is your body? You approach with your usual smile, seductive as ever, and I collapse in your embrace, forever repudiating you and the city to which you are doomed to return. A Judas’s kiss to you, my friend. Farewell, my long awaited one. You are now a stran...
  •    July 2012
    Krys Lee’s new collection of short stories, Drifting House, is a stirring debut that propels Korean literature further into a modern era of postnational themes. Lee’s characters are not heroes for their country but saviors for themselves—bold, brash, and fighting for their own redemptions. Her collection of stories is a comprehensive glimpse into a contemporary Korea whose natives are d...
  •    July 2011
    In this new series, WLT asks distinguished authors to recommend books about specific subjects within their area of expertise. In this installment, we've asked Iraqi writer Weam Namou to offer three books to which readers should turn for a better understanding of Iraq today. From the Mosul-based blogs of a modern-day Anne Frank to the memoirs and poetry o...
  • Song for Night
       March 2014
    It should go without saying that children bear the brunt of war as a nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Yet Graça Machel’s 1996 UNICEF report on the impact of war on children was new in both scope and topic. Why have we neglected this issue?  In my own explorations, I’ve been struck by how exile is a universal experience of young people who spend all or part of their childhood in a war zone. Exil...
  •    March 2011
    Top: One of the City of Asylum houses in Sampson Way. Photo by David Kent. Bottom: After Yusef Komunyakaa read "Ode to the Saxophone" (a poem he wrote for Jazz Poetry) in collaboration with the Big Band, each of the poets read a translation of the last verse in their own languages, accompanied by the band. left to right: Oliver Lake (saxophone), Yusef Komunyakaa (U.S.), Khet Mar (Burma), Mary...
  •   Nearly one hundred years after the first publication of Poetry magazine, the Poetry Foundation continues the mission of founder Harriet Monroe with the opening of its new home in Chicago's River North neighborhood. The new state-of-the-art building was unveiled to the public at an open house held June 25–26. During the two-day celebration, audiences enjoyed free performances, panel dis...
  •    March 2014
    Over thirty-something years of music video, we have gotten what we might have expected of a new (?) art (?) form (?): the sedimentation of practices, followed by the stirring up of new possibilities; an ever-changing relationship with the technologies of production, distribution, and consumption; the formation of unanticipated links with other media forms; and an uneven but steady proliferation w...
  •    May 2013
    The Sarabande of Sara’s Band by Larysa Denysenko Michael M. Naydan & Svitlana Bednazh, tr. Glagoslav Publications, 2013 The familiar quotation from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” reflects a certain truth. However, “happy” or “unhappy” does not even begin to describe the condition of any particular family, c...
  • History is usually about the “big picture”: geopolitics, religious change, social movements. Sometimes, it’s about the “little picture” and called “everyday.” I like the latter—the story of how people ate, dressed, formed bonds and communities, raised children, defined gender, divided labor.  I feel the same about accounts of imagined futures. Some concern clashes of civilizations, b...
  •    July 2012
    Whether seeking upward mobility, pursuing adventure, or escaping war, the characters in these migration narratives unsettle myths and demonstrate how geographic shifts impact everything from identity to daily life.   My Father’s Wives (2008) José Eduardo Agualusatr. Daniel Hahn  A brilliant tapestry of a tale, weaving fictions, hopes, facts, and dreams t...
  • Poets House | Lower Manhattan Just two blocks northwest of Ground Zero is Battery Park City, a quiet pocket of southwest Manhattan running alongside the Hudson River. The Poets House (poetshouse.org) recently moved here from Soho, and now sits around the corner from the Battery Park City public library—the New York Public Library's first green, leed-certified branch in Manhattan—and just north o...
  •    May 2013
    Photo by Somak Sarkar. West Bengali singer-songwriter-politician Kabir Suman. Go look up “Bangladesh” in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Hmm. There is an entry for “Bengali music,” but not one specifically for Bangladesh. Try the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. There at least you will find an entry titled “Bangladesh and West Bengal (India...
  •    July 2011
    4 Places to Visit Built by the Augustinians before 1696 and designed by A. M. Ricca, it owes its name to the revered statue by Gagini (15th century), standing today on the main altar. The sanctuary is also home to a Nativity filled with hundreds of statues. Photos: www.wikimediafoundation.org The edifice was constructed in 1593 as per the will of Francesco Grimaldi on the pre-existent Medieva...
  • Plan your next excavation of modern world literature through New York City with managing editor Michelle Johnson's definitive list of her favorite New York City bookstores. View New York City Bookstores in a larger map 192 Books www.192books.comOpened on May 22, 2003, 192 BOOKS is a general-interest bookstore featuring key works of literature and history, art and criticism, the social and natura...

Pages