Magazine article World Literature Today

Nota Bene

Magazine article World Literature Today

Nota Bene

Article excerpt

Benny Andersen

The Contract Killer

Paul Russell Garrett, tr.

Norvik Press

The prolific Benny Andersen turns a failed private investigator into a bumbling hired gun in this short comic play. Andersen presents absurdist approaches to questions of life and death, never losing his sense of humor or his lighthearted turn of phrase. The shy and ineffectual protagonist-a hallmark of Andersen's-is as relatable in English as in Danish.

bengal lights (Spring 2013)

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

In its second issue, this Dhaka-based literary journal shows off its variety with a truly cosmopolitan collection of written and visual art. Offerings range from surreal, colorful comix and a song translated from the Karbi language to an interview with Jorge Luis Borges. This new publication provides an open window onto the literary consciousness of Bangladesh.

Mutlu Konuk Biasing

Nâzim Hikmet: The Life and Times of Turkey's World Poet

Persea Books

This biography tells the dynamic story of Turkey's most acclaimed twentieth-century poet. His artistic growth is outlined along with his patriotism, his leftism, and his long-term rejection by the country he loved. Biasing is a prolific translator of Hikmet's work, and she incorporates elements of literary scholarship into her investigation of his life.

Shani Boianjiu

The People of Forever Are Not Afraid


Shani Boianjiu's gripping debut novel illustrates the lives of three Israeli girls who grow up together after they are conscripted into the army. Their distinct experiences of military life dictate their progress toward adulthood, and they must come to terms with the typical concerns of youth while confronting the constant threat of disruption and change.

Ciaran Carson

Exchange Place

Blackstaff Press

An award-winning translator and author of ten collections of poetry, Ciaran Carson now presents us with a thrilling spy novel. A close friend disappears "without so much as a by-your- leave," and through mazes of intrigue tracked between Belfast and Paris, both plot and prose prove astonishing.

Tankred Dorst & Ursula Ehler

This Beautiful Place

Anne Posten, tr.

Hanging Loose Press

The first novella from a literary jack-of-all-trades, This Beautiful Place is a simultaneously abstract and cinematic work that juxtaposes ideas with ideals and dreams with reality. It is the first of Tankred Dorst's works to be made available in English, despite his profound impact on German literature and the heavy American presence in his oeuvre.

Suzanne Dracius

Climb to the Sky

Jamie Davis, tr.

University of Virginia Press

In this collection of eight stories and one novella, Suzanne Dracius places women in opposition to overwhelming historical and existential circumstances. Her protagonists face the varied traumas of the Caribbean twentieth century-from the eruption of Mount Pelée to the boredom of bourgeois living-and must learn to overcome. Jamie Davis is an experienced translator of Dracius's prose.

Eugene Eoyang

The Promise and Premise of Creativity


Subtitled "Why Comparative Literature Matters," this volume from an esteemed literary scholar makes the case for reading and studying literature at a critical moment. Through case studies and well-reasoned arguments, Eoyang upholds literature as cultural communication and outlines "the uses of the useless." He tackles an important subject with enthusiasm and demonstrates his own heartfelt affection for comparative literature.

Inger Frimansson

The Cat Did Not Die

Laura A. Wideburg, tr.

Pleasure Boat Studio

In her latest contribution to the growing "Scandinavian noir" genre, Inger Frimansson details the psychological fallout of a mild- mannered schoolteacher who commits and must conceal a gruesome crime. The protagonist finds herself ever more tangled in an inescapable web of guilt and desperation, despite the seemingly bright yet false reality that surrounds her. …

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