Image: Julie Lequin, Character from the video TRUE STORIES (ALMOST), C-Print, 30 x 30 inches, 2009 (detail)
Writing from Quebec
Like Writing from Quebec on Facebook 

On the margins of both French and North American literary cultures, Quebec literature goes beyond its national identity to take its place in the world.  Set in city skyscrapers and rustic retreats, featuring characters ranging from adulterous hockey stars to faithful Canadian Heart Association donors, these stories demonstrate the diverse vitality of Quebecois writing.

We thank Blue Metropolis Foundation, the Délégation générale du Québec à New York, the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine,  the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for their generous support of this issue.

The Zacharias Ascaris Affair (bilingual)
by Nicolas Dickner
Translated from French by Lazer Lederhendler
At daybreak on a rainy November 1st humanity sank into a great prehistoric silence. more>>>

Welcome to the Club 
by Nadine Bismuth
Translated from French by Alison Strayer
Clutched to her chest was a huge pot of stewed pig's feet she’d made the day before. more>>>

In Praise of the Margins (bilingual)
by Elsa Pépin 
Translated from the French by Donald Winkler 
Quebec writers have drawn their strength from their minority status. more>>>

Reunion Teaserfrom The Reunion
by Pascal Girard
Translated from French by Helge Dascher
That gives me three months to lose fifty pounds.more>>>

Unagi (bilingual)
by Dominique Fortier
Translated from French by Paloma Vita
The circular shape etched by the heat of the lightning was still visible. more>>>

Two Faces
by Sylvain Trudel
Translated from French by Sheila Fischman
An instant later a blaze shot up just above the ground, a live torch–a big cat in flames. more>>>

from "The Window of Time" (bilingual)
by Hélène Dorion
Translated from French  by Jonathan Kaplansky
Shadows crash across the flesh of houses more>>>

Gandhi's Admirer
by Pan Bouyoucas
Translated from French by Paul Curtis Daw
And I'm supposed to become an accomplice to these Frankensteins! more>>>

Dolorès (bilingual)
by Christine Germain
Translated from the French by Jonathan Kaplansky
Where hard veins wake up on a mattress of abandonment.more>>>

Our Man in Madrid

Spaniards Lost in America
by Carlos Franz
Translated from Spanish by Jonathan Blitzer
He kept the body under the counter, right where he stored his medicinal herbs. more>>>
A Region of the Spirit: An Interview with Carlos Franz(bilingual)
by Jonathan Blitzer 
Translated from Spanish by Jonathan Blitzer 
It is a well established fact that we know our own countries better from afar. more>>>

New Writing from Russia

An Uncoincidence, a Noncoincidence (bilingual)
by Larissa Miller
Translated from Russian by Richard McKane
Someone rushes to a house that's been moved away. more>>>

None of Your Business (bilingual)
by Natalia Klyuchareva  
Translated from Russian by Marian Schwartz
His mother smiled stupidly, flapped her heavily mascaraed eyelashes, and missed the plate with her fork.  more>>>

Hello? (bilingual)
by Dmitry Biriukov
Translated by Arch Tait
Admit it, pal, you’re Hoovering up every word. more>>>

Graphic Serial 

Freq A TeaserThe Secret of Frequency A: An Incredible Disaster, part three

by Eom Jeong-Hui and Ko Im-Hong 
Translated from the Korean by Heinz Insu Fenkl 
Use the Frequency A generator to extract all the secrets from inside his head. Then quietly kill him.

Book Reviews

Kotaro Isaka's Remote Control

Reviewed by George Fragopoulos

But for Isaka and Aoyagi there is no way home, and no escape from this world and its global order.  more>>>

Modern Poetry of Pakistan

Reviewed by Swetha Regunathan 

For a country often drawn in newspapers as the backdrop of mosque and market bombings, troubled politics, and underdevelopment, poetry seems to waft through every aspect of Pakistani life. more>>>

Recent Dispatches

On Reviewing Translations: Rigoberto González
By Rigoberto González
With so few titles getting translated into English, it seems ludicrous to impose too many conditions in terms of matching a book reviewer to a translated project, or even in terms of determining whether a translated project is worth reviewing. The sad fact is that those of us reviewing books already have a minuscule pool to draw from–someone else (translators? publishers? publicists?) controls the impression we receive from a country’s literature, which may or may not reflect the highest quality of writing from that country. more>>>

Read the complete On Reviewing Translation series here.

The Explosion of the Radiator Hose by Jean Rolin
By Emma Garman

The connection that a reader forges with a first-person narrator varies tremendously from book to book, depending on the degree of intimacy or detachment elicited, on how convincing or charming or grating we find the voice, on how seduced, manipulated, or outraged we find ourselves. Sometimes, all too infrequently, the experience so entrances, it’s as if we’re simply in the company of a preternaturally witty and articulate person chattering away, which is how I felt reading The Explosion of the Radiator Hose by French author Jean Rolin: like I was sitting in the smoky bar of a hotel in some far-flung and vaguely lawless country, listening to Rolin—who’s drunk but sharp, world weary, and fabulously indiscreet—as he tells the most amusing and erudite shaggy dog story I’ve ever heard. more>>>

Baseball Springs Eternal
By Shizuka Ijuin
It was afternoon on Friday, March 11, 2011.  I was in the office at my home in Sendai, working on a manuscript I had just started.  Spring is the season of new beginnings.  In Japan, graduation ceremonies in March are followed by matriculation ceremonies in April.  For students it means a new school year, and for graduates it means a new stage in life.  For Japanese people, springtime is for sharing dreams of the future.  My own expectations for the new season extended to the manuscript I was writing. more>>>

More from Dispatches


London Book Fair: Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East
April 11, 2011, 4 p.m.
Literary Translation Centre, Earls Court 2

Moderator: Samantha Schnee, Founding Editor, Words without Borders
Speakers: Rukhsana Ahmad, Translator, Goli Taraghi, Haifa Zangana

London Book Fair: iTranslate: How Digital Publishing May Change Translation
Apr 12 2011, 11:30 a.m.
Literary Translation Centre, Earls Court 2

Moderator:     Alane Mason
Speakers: Neal Hoskins, Richard Nash, Stefan Tobler

For more details on The Literary Translation Centre at London Book Fair please visit their site.

PEN World Voices Festival: Writing in a Majority/Minority Cultural Context: Local Identity vs. a Broader Nation
April 27, 2011, 4:00 pm
Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave., New York City

Pulled between calls for regional autonomy versus demands for a stronger federation, regions of the world such as Catalonia, Georgia and Québec tackle questions of cultural identity every day. Join writers from these “minority/majority nations” as they discuss how their multiple identities, regional, national and global, inform the choices they make in their creative work.

With Nadine Bismuth, Nicolas Dickner, Dominique Fortier, Mykola Riabchuk, and Teresa Solana; moderated by Susan Harris

Free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Co-sponsored by Words Without Borders, the Blue Metropolis Foundation, and Scandinavia House

For the complete 2011 PEN World Voices schedule please visit their site.