The Work Force
As the holidays end and the new year begins, we bring you back to work with tales of employment from around the world. Whether loathed or loved, work provides both livelihood and identity; and in times of economic depression and shrinking labor markets, jobs assume even greater importance, determining both personal and political stability. Whether reinventing themselves in a new economy or sticking it out in an old one, the characters here demonstrate the variety of the international work force. Colombian journalist Andrés Felipe Solano goes undercover in a Medellín factory. Milica Micic Dimovska’s shopkeepers recycle used clothes for new clients. Ángela Pradelli's suddenly jobless woman goes into business as a bather. José Pérez Reyes describes a cabbie's strangest fare. In two tales of returning natives, Djibouti’s Abdourahman A. Waberi sees an academic transformed into a spy, while Iraqi Najem Wali watches a disgraced activist turn teacher. From London, Rebecca Carter explores the tremendous cultural differences from one country to another in the art of editing. In an extract from Patrick Hofmann’s Robert Walser Prize-winning novel, an earthy butcher slaughters a pig and enlivens a family. And on the flip side, François Bon charts French factory closings, and Quim Monzó paints a portrait of Catalan work stoppages.
from "Passage of Tears"
By Abdourahman A. Waberi
Translated from the French by David Ball and Nicole Ball
My mission consists in feeling out the temperature on the ground, making sure the country is secure, the situation is stable, and the terrorists are under control. more>>>
Also in this Issue
A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear
By Atiq Rahimi
Translated from the Dari by Sarah Maguire and Yama Yari
Other Press, 2010
Reviewed by Shaun Randol
To traverse the fractured mind of Farhad, the protagonist and narrator of Atiq Rahimi’s latest novel, is to glimpse the broken soul of a battered and confused country. more>>>
The City and the Writer: In Los Angeles with Dorothy Barresi
By Nathalie Handal
Can you describe the mood of Los Angeles as you feel/see it?
The LA mood? Always charging electrically between poles of honest outrage and pleasure. It’s a union town, a sweatshop town, a Brewery Artwalk town, a suburb for gangbangers, a Banksy-paints-an-elephant-in-the-room-and-the-Jolie-Pitts-stop-by! town. Lots of hipster flash and fresh figs in season. Reginald Denny. It’s Eden—but the Kogi truck is parked outside the gates (you got the tweet too late). Fireworks over the Ferris wheel. Fire season. Jacaranda season. Raspberry bougainvillea all year round. Drought even when it’s raining. No money for public education . . . more>>>
By Susan Bernofsky
It’s been quite a fall. Those of you who read my earlier dispatch about arriving at Queens College of the City University of New York last September to teach in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation there know how my semester started out. Now it’s just ended, and I have all sorts of happy developments to report. more>>>
What’s So Great About Proust?
By Samantha Schnee
Last week’s hot ticket in literary London was the Royal Society for Literature’s program “What’s so great about Proust?” featuring Margaret Drabble, Ian Patterson (translator of the recent Penguin edition of book six), and Jane Haynes (a psychologist who has written on Proust), and chaired by Christopher Prendergast (who oversaw the new translations for Penguin). more>>>
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