Forever Under Construction

Literature from …

Posted in Books, Iran, Iraq, Literature by homeyra on February 18, 2007


Words Without Borders
The New Press

Short stories and fiction excerpts from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, and other countries from whom the government would rather we didn’t hear

Not knowing what the rest of the world is thinking and writing is both dangerous and boring.
Alane Mason, Founding Editor, Words Without Borders

“During the Cold War, writers behind the Iron Curtain—Solzhenitsyn, Kundera, Milosz— were translated and published in the United States, providing an invaluable window on the Soviet regime’s effects on daily life and humanizing the individuals living under its conditions.

Yet U.S. Treasury Department regulations made it almost impossible for Americans to gain access to writings from “evil” countries such as Iran and Cuba until recently. Penalties for translating such works or for “enhancing their value” by editing them included stiff fines and potential jail time for the publisher. With relaxation in 2005 of the Treasury regulations (in response to pressure from the literary and scientific publishing communities that culminated in a lawsuit), it is now possible, for the first time in many years, to read in English works from these disfavored nations.

The New Press and Words without Borders are proud to be among the first to offer American readers contemporary literature of “enemy nations.” Literature from the Axis of Evil includes thirty-five works of fiction from seven countries, most of which have never before been translated into English.”

This anthology includes authors from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Lybia, Sudan and Cuba. From IRAN: Mahmud Dowlatabadi, Ahmad Shamlou, Houshang Moradi-Kermani

Review, Statesman: Emerging voices from “Enemy” Nations, Brad Buchholz


Online, you can read The Vice Principal by Moradi-Kermani, and a review


10 Responses

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  1. naj said, on February 18, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Well Well Well … now we’re talking! :))

  2. homeyra said, on February 18, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Glad you approved something here 🙂

  3. naj said, on February 18, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    sigh … peuvre moi.
    Mais je suis d’accord avec tous.
    But this was so timely because yesterday I commented to someone that it is high time for people to translate dolatabadi, shamlou ane ect, so this felt like a wish come true

  4. afriendtohumanity said, on February 19, 2007 at 6:39 am

    This sounds really interesting. Yet another book that I have to add to the list. Time, though. I need more time so that I can read.

    It’s amazing how casual we Americans become in the way that we form our perceptions and opinions of other countries. Now that I have begun to see more clearly – as I have actually gone beyond just watching the news to form my opinions – I just can’t educate myself quickly enough.

  5. homeyra said, on February 19, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Time, time…
    I was thinking earlier that this blogging experience is like being back to the campus: you want to see it all.
    I have a “favorite” list growing every day beside the blogroll, … saved to read when I’ll have the time…
    I think the next post addresses what you state about “how casual … we form our perceptions”.

  6. mysticsmuses said, on February 21, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Great info. I would love to read this book. I wonder why is there no story from Pakistani writers…

  7. homeyra said, on February 21, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    Hello mysticsmuses.
    I guess Pakistan did not have the privilege of the Axis membership 🙂

    OOPS! Spelling corrected! 🙂

  8. mysticsmuses said, on February 23, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Yes may be :). Spelling is Mystic by the way.

  9. Curtis said, on February 23, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Awesome idea…can’t wait to get a copy.

  10. […] Relevant post: Litterature from the Axis of Evil […]

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