The Secret History of our Enemies: Balaban’s Translations of Vietnamese Poetry

Decades ago, when I first read All Quiet on the Western Front, I copied this sentence into my journal: “A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies;…

Women Writing in 21st Century Brazil: Experimentation and Narratives of Self

There were days when Dita hid all the papers (Ruth Ducaso/Luciany Aparecida).   Brief considerations on writing by contemporary women authors I start this essay with the opening words of…

Introducing Zhongshi Chen’s Modern Classic, White Deer Plain

The Dream of the Red Chamber, one of China’s four great classical novels, written in the middle of the eighteenth century by Cao Xueqin, records the decline and fall of…

The Moscow Calendar’s Going Islamic; or, The Soviet Empire in Brodsky’s Poetry

Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek writer whose works are banned in Uzbekistan. He has lived in the United Kingdom since 1994. Several of his Russian-language novels have appeared in English…

The Trobriand Tower of Babel

In late November 1978, a small plane went missing after it left Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay Province in Papua New Guinea. The plane was en route to Losuia,…

Inventing a Nation: Jacques Roumain and Haitian Kreyòl

Haitian independence from France in 1804 led to a host of consequences for the first black republic in the world. Among them was a fraught relationship with the new nation’s…

Meskwaki Warparty: an Oral History

This war story was written in the Meskwaki language by Alfred Kiyana in about 1915 on the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County, Iowa. It is among some 27,000 pages of…

Conversations: Rion Amilcar Scott and Bro. Yao

Rion Amilcar Scott I’ve attempted many times to render as fiction my first conversation with Hoke Glover III (or Bro. Yao as many know him). Such a scene has always…

Harold Bloom on Alvin Feinman’s Self-limiting Transcendence

I first met Alvin Feinman in September 1951, the day before I encountered another remarkable young man who also became a life-long friend, Angus Fletcher. Alvin was twenty-two, a year…

Tina Chow’s Articulate Silence

Tina Chow’s Kyoto and Saturn bracelets I was exuberant when I first imagined writing this essay. I have been obsessed with Tina Chow for years. When asked why, I was…

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