Speculative Fiction in Translation: Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada translated by Susan Bernofsky New Directions November 8, 2016 288 pages Inaugural Winner of the Warwick Prize for Women In Translation, 2017 In Memoirs of a Polar Bear, Tawada doesn’t just inhabit the mind of a polar bear to explore such issues as Cold War politics, ancestry, … Continue reading Speculative Fiction in Translation: Memoirs of a Polar Bear

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Who Left the Light On?

A picture-book ode to the power of creative nonconformity, Who Left the Light On? achieves a rare trifecta: a loosely rhyming book in translation with brilliant illustrations. Mix in important themes—embracing diversity and expressing oneself—add a huge dollop of whimsy, and you have the ingredients to this charming tale. But the sum of the parts … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Who Left the Light On?

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Wonderful Feels Like This

Writing fiction about music can be tricky. Music is sound in time; it speaks to our brains at a pre-verbal level. As a result, using words to describe music can be hard and the literature is littered with near-misses. So it’s a great pleasure as a musician to read a well-written novel centered around music … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Wonderful Feels Like This

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Dragonfly Eyes

Oxymoronic as it may sound, there is an exciting comfort in picking up a book by a beloved author—or, as in Dragonfly Eyes, a beloved, award-winning writer-translator team. What joys, worlds, and experiences lurk within its pages? Will anticipation be tempered by disappointment? In the case of Dragonfly Eyes, Cao Wenxuan’s new YA historical novel, … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Dragonfly Eyes

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Beast Warrior

YA fantasy novel The Beast Warrior takes place about a decade after its award-winning prequel, The Beast Player.* In The Beast Warrior, mixed-heritage protagonist Elin is now a full-fledged Beast Player (a field that combines veterinarian with naturalist) and has had a son with her husband, Ialu. As the book opens, their feudal, agrarian nation is … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Beast Warrior

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest

Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest is a fascinating, informative, nonfiction book about the wonderful ecology of forests. Written by forester and global advocate Peter Wohlleben, it’s full of appealing color illustrations, quizzes, sidebars, and activities. All laid out in two-page spreads perfectly geared to readers age 8-12, … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest

Literature of Exile: Palestine

Like the Kurds, to be a Palestinian is to grow up in exile, and with exile as a family heritage. During the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948, "more than half of Palestine's native population, close to 800,000 people had been uprooted, 531 villages had been destroyed, and eleven urban neighborhoods emptied of their inhabitants (from … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Palestine

Literature of Exile: LGBTQ authors

The life of an exile is always complicated, but being an LGBTQ+ refugee can sometimes mean exile from your family and community as well as from your homeland. Today we look at writers from Iran, Somalia, and Pakistan who have confronted the challenge of being a gay refugee. Négar Djavadi flatly states, "I’m not an … Continue reading Literature of Exile: LGBTQ authors

Literature of Exile: Kurdish poets Kajal Ahmad, Sherko Bekas, and Abdulla Pashew

To be Kurdish is to be perpetually in exile. Originally a nomadic population in the mountainous region of southwest Asia, they fell victim to the nationalization movements of the post Ottoman era, their domain divided between Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Syria. Not considered full citizens anywhere they have been considered traitors, terrorists and undesirables … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Kurdish poets Kajal Ahmad, Sherko Bekas, and Abdulla Pashew

Literature of Exile: the poets of Exiled Writers Ink

Exiled Writers Ink brings together writers from repressive regimes and war-torn situations, providing a space for writers to be heard. Exiled Writers Ink develops and promotes the creative literary expression of refugees, migrants and exiles, encourages cross-cultural dialogue and advocates human rights through literature and literary activism. The following poets have all been supported and promoted … Continue reading Literature of Exile: the poets of Exiled Writers Ink