WWB Logo                               August 2009
In This Issue
Walking the World
Also in September
Upcoming Events
Call for Manuscripts
Get Involved
The Wall in My Head
Last Month's Favorites

Don't miss the most-read articles on WWB in August 2009:

A Journey to Spitsbergenby Cees Nooteboom, translated from the Dutch by Liedewy Hawke

El último Lobo by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes

From "Bestiary" by Harald Weinrich, translated from the German by Steven Rendall

Giving Banner

Words without Borders is hosting its first annual benefit on November 9, 2009, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and celebrate the release ofThe Wall in my Head. The evening will feature a dinner of Eastern and Central European cuisine, readings from the anthology by Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, and Peter Schneider, and music DJed by Dean Wareham. The fundraiser is a great way to meet staff and other supporters, while helping WWB fulfill its mission.  



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September 2009 IMage

copyright Joel Priddy

Walking the World 
The September Issue

This month, in collaboration with Orion magazine, we embark on "Walking the World," the second installment of our two-month focus on international nature writing. The writers in our September issue record their walks to give us a unique ground-level perspective on our natural and urban surroundings. Whether a remembrance of a haunting episode on the streets of Paris, or an account of a trek through Milan toward a distant peak, these pieces provide a rare glimpse into the realm of the writer on foot, in his element, and speaking about the world that we all navigate. This month we present the work of Siegfried Kracauer, Troub's, Davide Sapienza, Agur Schiff, Antonio Ungar, Alexei Ivanov, and Marjan Strojan. We hope you'll also head over toOrion to read their fantastic selections for this co-publication.

Memory of a Paris Street 
Siegfried Kracauer walks twice down a Paris street
Translated by Ross Benjamin 
It's been almost three years since I ended up on that street in the Grenelle quarter. Chance led me there–or rather, not so much chance as intoxication. The intoxication of the streets that always seizes me in Paris. At the time I encountered the street, I was spending four weeks completely alone in Paris and would walk for several hours each day through the quarters. It was an obsession that I couldn't resist. more>>>

"Survivors," from The Ears of the Wolf
Antonio Ungar depicts a grueling sojourn in the Tierra Adentro Mountains.
Translated by Katherine Silver
I wake up. The bus stops, and a village full of horses appears. Mama and her women meditator friends and her women communist friends and my sister are on the bus, along with the peasants. We get off, we wander among the horses, we eat something, we find someone to guide us. Beyond the village and throughout the following days are only the infinite mountains of Tierra Adentro. more>>>

How Old is the Queen of England?

Agur Schiff takes a late-night stroll through a Tel Aviv Cemetery.
Translated by Jessica Cohen
The old dog lumbers beside me, exhaling and inhaling laboriously and tracking my steps with her bowed head turned white with old age. Owls perch on the branches canopying the path, against the indigo background of the darkening sky. They give us sideways glances and emit long whistles like rubber toys. Their eyes are open in wonderment. more>>>

Paradise . . . Kind of
Troub's sketches a graphic memoir of a dual society in Borneo 
Translated by Edward Gauvin
The Total corporation–jewel in the crown of the French economy-maintains a presence in many countries across the globe, wherever there are fossil fuels to exploit. To do so, it hires locals, but also French employees with expatriate contracts lasting an average of two years. Two years in westernized surroundings, with housing, a company car, and schooling for their children in comfortable conditions and their own language. more>>>


Marjan Strojan paints a picture of a village procession.
Translated by Marjan Strojan
All along our Wooden Cross garden the peonies were dying. . .
The sun was dying on them, too, filling the orchard and
the village road with the scent of warm apricots and
squashed petal leaves way down to the cellar. more>>>

From The Geographer Drank His Globe Away

Alexei Ivanov follows New Year merrymakers into the snowbound Urals. 
Translated by Liv Bliss
Sluzhkin was being prodded by the old guy on the opposite bench. He unglued his eyes, sprang onto his knees still in his sleeping bag, and shot a look through the upper window pane, because the lower one was thickly overgrown with a dense cover of icy ferns. The lopsided, gray little houses of Valyozhnaya were undulating past the electric train, across the hillside.

"Code red, gang!" Sluzhkin roared. "We nearly missed Valyozhnaya!" more>>>

Milano Inside a Star
Davide Sapienza packs light to trek toward the highest point of Milan
Translated by Davide Sapienza
Seven thirty in the morning. My autumn heart is still beating slowly. Franco and I, we are getting ready to face the long walk, surrounded by silence. A backpack check is vital: we must have everything-or just about-that is needed to start our Milano expedition. The hike across town is supposed to be a comeback to some sort of roots, therefore we need to downgrade. more>>>

Elsewhere on the site, Victor Ivaniv observes the final steps, and Valeria Parrella is running to stand still. 

New Reviews 


by Yu Hua
Translated from the Chinese by Eileen Cheng-yin Chow and Carlos Rojas
Pantheon, 2009

Reviewed by Brendan Patrick Hughes
It is a shame that Groucho Marx is not available to appear on film in the role of Baldy Li, the ridiculous, hedonistic, almost vaudevillian main character of Brothersmore>>>


Hovering at a Low Altitude

Hovering at a Low Altitude: The Collected Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch
By Dahlia Ravikovitch
Translated from the Hebrew by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld
W. W. Norton & Co., 2009

Reviewed by Tsipi Keller
If Israel had a Mount Rushmore-type memorial for poets, the late Dahlia Ravikovitch would be part of the monument. more>>>

More from the Bookshelf. . .

Also in September… 

From the Blog

The Translator's Library: Gill Paul's Translation in Practice by A.M. Correa, Poeboes Podcast-Mark Ford on Translation by Andre Naffis and more

From thewallinmyhead.com

Pan-European Picnic in Sopron: August 19, 1989 by Annie Janusch, The Big Yellow Bus by Clare Krojzl and more.


Upcoming Events

Words without Borders in Hudson, NY

As part of our Walking the World issue, published in partnership with Orion magazine, we've partnered with Ledig House International Writers Residency to bring two contributors, translatorEdward Gauvin and fiction writer Agur Schiff, to upstate New York for two readings. The first will be at Spotty Dog Books and Ale on September 19 at 3 p.m. Spotty Dog Books and Ale is located at 440 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534.

Writer and translator Edward Gauvin has received fellowships from the Clarion Foundation and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) and residencies from Ledig House and the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. His work on fabulist Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud in Words without Borders and in AGNI OnlineConjunctions, EpiphanyFantasy & Science Fiction, and The Brooklyn Rail mark the author's first appearances in English. Other translations have been featured in Two Lines XV and Absinthe. He translates graphic novels for Tokyopop, First Second Books, and Archaia Studios Press.

Agur Schiff was born in Tel Aviv in 1955 and is a graduate of St. Martin's School of Art in London, where he specialized in animation. He won critical acclaim as a filmmaker before turning to writing. His award-winning debut collection of short stories, Dying Animals and Bad Weather (1995), was followed by a second collection entitled Stories for Short Trips (1999) and two novels: Bad Habits (2004) and What You Wished For (2007). His third novel, In the Sand, will be published early next year.

This project is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Book Launch for Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia

Reading and Reception at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street. Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 7:00pm
Join Tin House Books and CEC ArtsLink in celebrating the launch of a new volume of contemporary Russian prose edited by Mikhail Iossel and Jeff Parker. With readings from the volume by featured authors Oleg Zobern and Natalia Kluchareva. The event is sponsored by the Open World Cultural Leaders Program and The Saint Petersburg Review, with support from the PEN American Center and Words without Borders.

Words without Borders at Ledig House

The Omi International Arts Center is welcoming its fall residents to the Ledig House Writers Residency Program. The session runs from September 11-November 20. The only community reading for the season will take place on Saturday, September 26th, in the Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center at the Omi International Arts Center (Route 22 near Letter S Road, see Web sitewww.artomi.org). The residents will read from their work at 5PM and there will be a BBQ to follow. This event is free and open to the public.

The evening will include readings from the following writers:
Luìsa Costa Gomes (Portugal, Fiction/Playwriting/Translation)
Jacek Dehnel (Poland, Poetry/Fiction/Translati

Edward Gauvin (US, Translation)
Agur Schiff (Israel, Fiction)
Chanda Rule Bernroider (US, Lyrics/Poetry)
Allison Amend (US, Fiction)
Glaydah Namukasa (Uganda, Fiction)
Nora-Eugenie Gomringer (Germany/Switzerland, Fiction)
Pa Ousman Darboe (Gambia, Nonfiction)

This event is cosponsored by Words without Borders through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts


Call for Manuscripts

Hemispheres magazine, the inflight publication of United Airlines, has partnered with Words without Borders to offer our readers a taste of world literature. We are currently looking for translated short stories of approximately 500 words in length for our monthly fiction page. Due to our readership, we cannot print stories with sexual themes, violence, disturbing scenes or obscenities. Nor can we appear to promote a particular religious or political point of view. Stories will be published in English. Submit translations tohemispheres@wordswithoutborders.org.


Get Involved 

Call for Syllabi
Words without Borders would like to hear from high school teachers and university professors who are using the WWB Web site and/or anthologies in the classroom. As part of the expansion of our education initiatives we'd like to build a syllabi library for other educators to use as a reference and are looking for contributions. Please e-mail education@wordswithoutborders.org

Volunteers Needed
Words without Borders needs a skilled videographer in New York City to help us record and edit video of events and interviews with authors and translators. We would normally be recording once or twice a month, and videos are posted on wordswithoutborders.org, YouTube, and Facebook. This is an unpaid, volunteer position. Interested applicants should e-mailjobs@wordswithoutborders.org.

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