An excerpt from Lunar New Year Love Story, by Gene Luen Yang & LeUyen Pham
After accepting the NSK silver medallion, certificate, and a check symbolizing the $35,000 award, Gene Luen Yang delivered a heartwarming story about the arc of his career, making art with friends, and the earned wisdom of what creating comics has taught him.
As he introduced and paid tribute to Gene Luen Yang during the NSK Prize ceremony, Trung Lê Nguyễn, who nominated Yang for the award, reflected on the role of comics in helping bridge cultures, languages, and generations.
“Ulla / took off her glasses / Said she met Tomas Tranströmer / in his house in Sweden / Schubert was playing / The moment he appeared / she’d bowed almost genuflected / as if a saint walked in,” from “Tranströmer,” by Jaspreet Singh
“Fleet-footed seagulls / squawk in displeasure. / Plump as a cuttlefish, / a sailboat glides past. / A dripping-wet beauty / cries out for her dress,” from “Fish Pier, Santa Monica,” by Vernon Duke (trans, Boris Dralyuk)
“If a love song is made of water, the water / you hold in your hands right now is a lyric, / a song inside the rusty tap released,” from “These Visitations,” by Brian Turner & Dorianne Laux
They Flew by Night
“The ice thickened and awoke with a snap. It stretched, shivered, and strengthened again. Each day it grew deeper and, for a short while, reflected the shine of the distant sun back into the sky,” from “They Flew by Night,” by Mirja Lanz (trans. by Catherine Venner)
“Ruins give us this beautiful idea,” writes the author, “that you could make something, something wonderful and strange, as pleasing as you could, imbuing it with something of yourself.” Yet even the self, subject to time, must evanesce.
Even though the Latin American novel was never the West’s “Other,” the new Handbook published by Oxford University Press does a marvelous job of producing a sorely needed remapping of the continent’s contributions to the genre.
What are the three ancient Irish sports and how have they played a role in Irish history? Find out this and more in Mraović-O’Hare’s short essay.
Sona Jobarteh, the first woman to achieve an international profile playing the kora, is a singular figure in the pantheon of twenty-first-century African artists. Read Banning Eyre’s profile of her here and then go online to listen to a playlist of her music.
6 Questions for Silvia Moreno-Garcia
A mini-interview with Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of Certain Dark Things, a vampire tale set in Mexico City.
Icelandic Stories: A Conversation with Katrín Jakobsdóttir & Ragnar Jónasson
In this conversation with Iclal Vanwesenbeeck, Iceland’s prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Ragnar Jónasson discuss Icelandic fiction’s strong connection to the environment, their shared love of Agatha Christie, a possible sequel, and much more.
Writing, the Gambler’s Art: A Conversation with Chigozie Obioma
An interview with Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma, whose debut novel, The Fishermen, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015. His third novel, The Road to the Country, a Biafran War fiction, is forthcoming from Hutchinson Heinemann.