Weekend Reading

An Interview with Svetlana Alexievich

An Interview with Svetlana Alexievich

"There are moments when I become deeply despaired about whether words have any significance at all. But still, our mission does not change. Literature must foster humans and make the souls of people stronger in order to overcome the loneliness that may swallow up humans when they face atrocious fates."
The Asahi Shimbun

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Salman Rushdie Has a New Book

Salman Rushdie Has a New Book

"Now, with the release of Victory City, writers are again rallying around Rushdie to champion his work. Many see it as a moment to celebrate Rushdie’s exuberant and playful imagination, to turn attention back to his fiction and to savor the fact that Rushdie is here to witness the reception of his novel. Some say the book’s overarching message — that stories will outlast political clashes, wars, the collapse of empires and civilizations — has taken on a heightened resonance in light of what Rushdie has endured."
The New York Times

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Leeya Mehta: Women, Life, Freedom

Leeya Mehta: Women, Life, Freedom

“One Zan” framed an afternoon of readings on H Street in Northeast Washington, DC, during which American women read works alongside Iranian women. I learned about Iranian women writers who have been prodigious in their production of revolutionary works. I learned, for example, that over the last 200 years, Persian poets like Tahereh were executed for exercising their voice and agency.

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A Conversation on Kurdish Translation with Farangis Ghaderi

A Conversation on Kurdish Translation with Farangis Ghaderi

"Kurdish literature is a very rich literature with a long history. Why is it not widely translated? Why is it not visible? Part of it is the position of the Kurdish language as a minoritized language. However, it’s really important to remember that the minority position has been imposed on Kurds and the Kurdish language—there are 30-40 million Kurdish speakers. It has a much larger number of speakers than some European languages that are not classified as minority languages. The minority position is a political, cultural, and social designation, which has to be challenged."
Asymptote

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Elena Medel Speaks About the Wonders of Language & Poetry

Elena Medel Speaks About the Wonders of Language & Poetry

"'I think poetry is in everything that I write because it’s in the language and the attitude of the writing,' said Medel. 'When you write a poem you have to go to the essence of the poem, and I’m trying to do the same in fiction. I try to go to the heart of the story.'"
George Mason University

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Three Poems & an Interview with Vivek Narayanan

Three Poems & an Interview with Vivek Narayanan

"I’ve come across highly sophisticated US poetry readers who seem to be intimidated by the Ramayana: they find my book 'culturally challenging' or somehow feel they have to prepare for it, 'educate' themselves before they even start reading. Strangely, no one ever says that about the Iliad or the Odyssey, although those worlds are arguably as distant from ours as the Valmiki is."
Plume Poetry

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Alaa Abd El-Fattah Hunger Strike

Alaa Abd El-Fattah Hunger Strike

"The majority of living Nobel prize for literature laureates have called on world leaders attending the Cop27 climate conference in Egypt this week to help free thousands of political prisoners in the country, including the writer Alaa Abd El-Fattah who is six months into a hunger strike and 'at risk of death'."
The Guardian

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