International Banned Book: Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi

SUMMARY: The moving, inspiring memoir of one of the great women of our times, Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and advocate for the oppressed, whose spirit has remained strong in the face of political persecution and despite the challenges she has faced raising a family while pursuing her work. Best known … Continue reading International Banned Book: Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi

Three Novels by Nordic Women for the Last Dark Nights of Winter

Just as spring arrives in the northern hemisphere, we turn our attention to a region that values limited supplies of sunshine. Here are three novels by three women—two from Norway, one from Iceland—that radiate with a dark energy more reminiscent of the northern lights than the sun’s warm glow. Love by Hanne Ørstavik (Archipelago; translated … Continue reading Three Novels by Nordic Women for the Last Dark Nights of Winter

International Banned Book: No Man’s Land by Duong Thu Huong

I hadn’t read a literary work with such care for the characters and a narrative that weaves humanity’s impulses, tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses with everyday forces of nature. Mien, Hoan, Bon, Xa, and the communities in which they reside are written richly and compellingly. Their often unpredictable actions build layers of smoke, and their relationships … Continue reading International Banned Book: No Man’s Land by Duong Thu Huong

A Warwick Prize Shortlist and Clementine Loves Red

When a translated book for children makes the shortlist of an award also open to grown-up books, my heart leaps. Because yes, children’s literature is literature. And translators of children’s books need plenty of credit and support for their careers, made tenuous by the (currently—we can change this) low demand for #worldkidlit translated into English. … Continue reading A Warwick Prize Shortlist and Clementine Loves Red

Title Pick: Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets

Scattering the Dark offers a lively selection of Poland’s women poets writing before and after the fall of communism. In eight thematic chapters, this book reveals how the influential literary tradition of Miłosz and Szymborska continues to evolve as younger generations turn from their country’s tragic history to a poetry of ordinary experience and language … Continue reading Title Pick: Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets

Ursula Phillips on Zofia Nałkowska

Zofia Nalkowska (10 November 1884 – 17 December 1954) is sometimes referred to as the grande dame of Polish literature. She was an active member of the Polish PEN Club, the only female (and a founding member) of the Polish Academy of Literature (1933-1939) and recipient of major awards including the state prize in 1936 … Continue reading Ursula Phillips on Zofia Nałkowska

When An Author You Translate Gets Death Threats: Polish Writer Olga Tokarczuk Speaks the Truth, Is Attacked For It

Acclaimed Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk has received a steady stream of hate mail and even death threats after questioning her country’s view of itself as “an open, tolerant country.” As one person put it in a post to Tokarczuk’s Facebook page, “The only justice for these lies is death. Traitor.” Many agree that Tokarczuk’s “betrayal” … Continue reading When An Author You Translate Gets Death Threats: Polish Writer Olga Tokarczuk Speaks the Truth, Is Attacked For It

Title Pick: FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk

Flights, a novel about travel in the twenty-first century and human anatomy, is Olga Tokarczuk’s most ambitious to date. It interweaves travel narratives and reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration.  From the seventeenth century, we have the story of the Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen, … Continue reading Title Pick: FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk

Excerpt: Grace by Barbara Boswell

Part 1: 1985 1 “Mary, please open the door.” His voice echoed from behind the locked front door, plaintive, lost – the voice of a man adrift. “Please, my darling, just open the door, one more time. Let me in for five minutes. I just want to talk.” He sounded close to breaking. His careless … Continue reading Excerpt: Grace by Barbara Boswell

Excerpt: Sacrificed by Chanette Paul

The U.S. debut of bestselling South African writer Chanette Paul. Rejected by her parents, her sister, her husband, everyone except her extraordinary and unusual daughter, Caz Colijn lives a secluded life in her own little patch of South Africa. But a single phone call from her estranged sister is all it takes to shatter this … Continue reading Excerpt: Sacrificed by Chanette Paul