“too late to cry over bridges too late to build bridges too late to say too late to loved ones / too late to embrace them,” from “'“too late to scroll through news and facebook . . .’,” by Alexander Skidan (trans. by Kevin M. F. Platt & Ivan Sokolov)
“mama it’s not black and white / we’re the bad guys, we’re fools / it’s the phantoms in the kitchen / circling around your foot,” from “‘mama is reading a history of russian death’,” by Konstantin Shavlovsky
“As the writing we have assembled for this special issue of World Literature Today demonstrates, the language one speaks is not a marker of complicity. In fact, what we regard as the most important writing in Russian of the past two decades has taken the form of a rejection, explicit or implicit, of Putin’s dictatorship, Russian nationalism and imperialism, homophobia, xenophobia, and the whole matrix of what official Russia now terms “patriotic” values.”
“mama says: you should know your own language / papa says: you’ve gone completely Russian / if I hadn’t come to this country, / my kids would be normal / my kids would have grown up normal,” from “‘mama is laughing haha . . .’,” by Egana Dzhabbarova
“While we ate, we bombed Lviv / And after entered / The wrinkled water, elders first / In the smoke of barbecues / Clanged dragonflies,” from “While we slept, we bombed Kharkiv,” by Maria Stepanova (trans. Ainsley Morse)
“in society we are like streams / made up of some kind of force / and until we become visible / we don’t exist / for the people who make decisions // and i feel guilty about this / that i wasn’t visible,” from “Monologue of a Russian Woman #4,” by Maria Malinovskaya
An Iranian woman living in the US seeks to understand the meaning of home on a journey to Egypt to visit the burial place of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Iranian king respected for his religious tolerance but forced into exile for the same.
A woman sweeping the Moscow metro with a twig broom, a violinist playing a Beatles tune, and Chekhov: Philip Metres reflects on his time on fellowship in Moscow, 1992, and Soviet nostalgia.
This piece by Lin Yi-Han is based on the theme of what it’s like to dwell in a body that carries trauma, and what it means to live in a mind where literature, memories, and vulnerability interweave with one another
Guadalupe Nettel, Samanta Schweblin, Mónica Ojeda, and other Latin American women writers are responding to themes that particularly speak to a younger, female audience—bodily autonomy, redefinition of gender, the internet’s mediation of identity, and brushes with the existential—in common ways, embracing conventions of the horror and true crime genres and bending them toward literary aims.
This essay is a stroll through the oeuvre of the 2022 Neustadt Prize winner, Boubacar Boris Diop. It offers a foray into his formative years, followed by an exploration of the most salient aspects of his fictional writing.
Boubacar Boris Diop’s novel Doomi Golo is a rich puzzle of personal and historical narratives on the dilemma of postcolonial identity and futures. The following essay traces many of the novel’s cinematic, cultural, and political filiations.
Anderson Tepper speaks with novelist Siphiwe Ndlovu, author of The History of Man, about her work, her contemporaries, and Zimbabwe’s impressive and deep-rooted literary tradition.
In his ongoing column, which appears in every other issue, Karlos K. Hill highlights the efforts of cultural figures doing works of essential good around issues of social justice. Here, Hill converses with Shoshana Bellen, who was born in a displaced persons camp that was used to house Holocaust survivors following World War II and contributed to a historical museum and education center that occupies a renovated building which originally served as the camp’s bathhouse.
Emily Doyle interviews R. O. Kwon about the best-selling anthology she co-edited with Garth Greenwell, Kink: Stories; the less-than-ideal state of sex in literature; and her novel-in-progress, which—spoiler alert—includes a century-old ghost.
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