Words Without Borders. October 2014: Writing from Guatemala and Syria

This month we present writing from Guatemala.

Rodrigo Rey Rosa describes a fateful trip to the zoo

Mildred Hernández finds a couple transformed by violence

David Unger seeks the facts through fiction 

And more by Luis de LiónRodrigo FuentesDante LianoDenise Phé-FunchalCarol Zardetto

With new writing from Syria from Rasha AbbasZaher Omareen, and Mohamed Raouf Bachir, introduced by Alice Guthrie

We gratefully acknowledge the support of The Milton and Beatrice Wind Foundation. 

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WWB Events 

Words without Borders: New Writing from Guatemala 

Where: Community Bookstore, 143 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

When: Tuesday, October 14, 7:00 

In celebration of our October 2014 issue of new writing from Guatemala, Words without Borders and Community Bookstore will host a bilingual reading and discussion with Eduardo Halfon, Rodrigo Fuentes, and Idra Novey. We hope you'll come out to help us celebrate Guatemalan literature. More here.



Khaled Mattawa wins MacArthur Fellowship 

WWB contributor and noted poet and translator Khaled Mattawa has been awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. You can read through his stunning work in WWB in our archives

The City and the Writer: In Oklahoma City with Nathan Brown

By Nathalie Handal 

Oklahoma City is an “easy” place to be and move around in. Someone from Palm Springs or NYC may not feel that. But I do.more>>>


Where the Sidewalk Bends: In Search of Manoel de Barros's Pantanal 

It’s an odd sensation to arrive in a place that you’ve never been before, but that you’ve already experienced through someone else’s eyes
. Especially when that other person is a poet. more>>>


New in Catalan: Miquel de Palol's El Jardí del set crepuscles 

By Adrian Nathan West 

Upon opening El jardí dels set crepuscles, the reader is reminded of Stanisław Lem’sProvocation and the paratextual short fictions of Borgesmore>>>


Christopher Shannon Reviews Ernst Meister'sWallless Space

What happens when a “piteously naked” philosopher-turned-poet decides to pursue philosophy in the form of verse? more>>>

Sculpting in Uzbek: On Translating Hamid Ismailov

By Shelley Fairweather-Vega 

Translators sometimes try to refrain from passing judgment, but I feel compelled to say that Uzbek is a strange and mysterious language more>>> 

Daniel Goldman Reviews David Albahari's Globetrotter 

This sense of absence pervades the characters’ ideas of national identity — all of them are personally defined by things they lacked in their pasts, either symbolically, literally, or both.more>>>



Three Writers from Syria

The Liberated Voice: Writing from Syria 

This October we present a selection of writing from Syria from guest editor Alice Guthrie.  Make sure to read her introduction to the work of Zaher OmareenMohamed Raouf Bachir, and Rasha Abbas in this illuminating look into the world of Syrian letters. 

Also, listen to Beau Bothwell's conversation with Zaher Omareen and Malu Halasa, the editors of the groundbreaking collection Syria Speaks, now out from Saqi Books. Listenhere

The WWB Globe Trot: 

Join us for a celebration of international literature at the first annual Words without Borders GLOBE TROT 

Presented by the WWB Young Publishers Committee and co-hosts Rivka Galchen,Dinaw MengestuJess RowTéa Obreht, and Tiphanie Yanique 

Refreshments from Grey Goose, Brooklyn Brewery, Baked, Momofuku Milkbar, FIKA, and Harlem Floridita

Music from DJs Ryan Chapman, Jason Diamond, and Dave Sharma

Door prizes from Phaidon, McNally Jackson, and Momofuku

Tickets: $25 in advance, $35 at the door

Buy your ticket: http://globe-trot-2014.eventbrite.com/

The event follows the Words without Borders Gala. To purchase tickets for the WWB Annual Gala (Globe Trot ticket included), visit:wwb-gala-2014.eventbrite.com. For more information about this event, please contact giving@wordswithoutborders.org


Antal Szerb's Journey By Moonlight
Reviewed by Carla Baricz

This phantasmal, complex novel of ideas takes place in a “wild, precipitous landscape."more>>>

Venedikt Erofeev's Walpurgis Night
Reviewed by Ethan Perets 
Current events can make us wonder: In times of tremendous violence, do literary questions and conflicts matter at all? more>>>

The City and the Writer: In  Atlanta with Erica Wright
By Nathalie Handal 

What is your most heartbreaking memory in this city?

Atlanta and I recently celebrated our one-year anniversary, so we’re still in the honeymoon period. No heartbreak, yet, but one of my most disappointing moments occurred when I missed General Beauregard Lee’s prognostication on Groundhog Day.more>>>

Translating Heart First: Translation Workshop with Maureen Freely 
By Genevieve Guzmán 

In preparation for our workshop, Freely asked us students to submit a pesky passage we’d been mulling over unsuccessfully for some time.more>>>