When we first proposed a feature on Mexico in April 2014, our idea was to shift thematically away from the Words without Borders Mexican Drug War Issue in 2012. Tapping into the celebratory mood of the 2015 cultural partnership between Mexico and the UK, and the showcasing of Mexico as...
The boy looked at them again, though without any sign of recognition or comprehension. Then his eyes scrunched closed, his mouth opened, and he howled until he had no more air in his lungs. His face seemed to relax and soften then. His lips parted as his last breath was puffed through his throat...
A pane of glass shatters. I open my bedroom window and look up and down the street. A man is running away. Under the kitchen table I find a rock the size of a baby’s fist. I push the larger fragments of glass into a pile by the wall with the toe of my slipper, then get a broom and sweep up...
This is the fourth issue of Words without Borders focusing on Japan (and the third supported by the British Centre for Literary Translation/Nippon Foundation partnership). For this issue we decided to focus on memory. We don’t quite remember why. It may or may not have had something to do...
After Félix Valloton's Le Ballon There is a reason for her beauty. She has a secret that she can tell nobody, and it is that secret which makes her beautiful. She has no mother. Her mother died when she was very young, and she was raised by her father. Her father now has a new family. He...
Running in a daze through the city’s dreamlike darkness. I’m all alone. Gasping for air. And I can’t go home with my school uniform filthy like this. I’m soaked to the skin, my body is cold, but there’s an uncomfortable dull heat hanging around my neck. The late rainy...
Omwet. No, no. Omelet. Omwet. Not omwet, omelet. Omwet. Omwet? What about this? Sweet. Sweet? And this? Green. Green, is it? Well, what about this? Clam. That’s right, clam. And this? Shiitako. Almost—shiitake. Shiitake. On a cold day seven years ago, just two days into his retirement,...
This is an official report based on the firsthand accounts of interviewees A through Z. Each entry has been abstracted and the subjects’ names have been redacted. Various fruits appear in the report. Here, the term “various” is synonymous with “many kinds.” Examples...
Now was the time to leave. She could go anywhere, as long as there were streets. Just had to walk to get there. These feet would take her. Though they weren’t as good as they used to be. Oh Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai! Where have you come from, and where are you going? I am running from my...
Translator’s Note: As everyone knows, the March 11, 2011, earthquake that shook northeastern Japan also released a devastating tsunami that devastated the northeastern Tōhoku coast of Japan and precipitated the worst nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl. By the time that the dust had cleared...