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Wasafiri Wonders: Maaz Bin Bilal
‘One would like to think of the author-translator as comrades in arms.’ … Ever wondered what your favourite writer’s first drafts look like? Or which book your favourite translator would secretly love to translate? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
Articles
Writing Whiteness: Inua Ellams on 'Men In Black'
One of the many myths perpetuated by British colonial governments and its systems of propaganda is that Empire existed not for the economic benefit of Britain but to civilise, Educate (and Christianise) primitive peoples of the earth.
Poetry
Writing Whiteness: Performance Art for The End of the World by Chris Tse
a crowd gathers around an empty frame … suspended from the ceiling / some see the … face of their saviour / others find … themselves lost in a tunnel / those at the … front with their chequebooks at the ready … have the audacity to call it Art / they’re all … correct / but they’re also wrong to…
Poetry
'I ain’t go lie. This novel is a love letter to Trinidad': Ingrid Persaud
She won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2017, then the BBC National Short Story Award in 2018. Now, Ingrid Persaud brings her most expansive, ambitious work yet. Love After Love has already generated international headlines.
Articles
Exclusive Extract: Between Beirut and the Moon by Naji Bakhti
That night I snuck out of the house and walked for half an hour to Ramlet AlBayda. It was the only public sandy shore left in Beirut, courtesy of the warlords who ran the country after the end of the civil war.
Fiction
Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami
If you want to know how poor somebody was growing up, ask them how many windows they had. Don’t ask what was in their fridge or in their closet. The number of windows says it all. It says everything. If they had none, or maybe one or two, that’s all you need to know.
Fiction
Writing Whiteness: Room by Claire Hynes
Room (n.) A space that can be occupied or where something can be done. The first conversation took place in the university Council Chamber seven years ago. A Professor of Literature, the author of many books, was being honoured, although I wasn’t sure exactly why.
Articles
Wasafiri Wonders: Rachel Long
'I think it be would be Whitney Houston does a grime inflected album, with special features from Rhianna, Stormzy, Skepta, David Bowie. Album artwork from either Tracey Emin or Carrie Mae Weems – maybe an artwork each side.
Poetry
Donation by Jennie Owen
Here, take my brain, each last lobe … one hundred billion empty neurons … firing, its shocks so blunt, my thoughts disrobed; … bruises and wounds unhidden.
Poetry
Looking for British-Iranian Literature
In July 2018, I completed my Master’s degree frustrated that I never located enough material to sustain further study on British-Iranian literature. I found myself reaching over the Atlantic—to North America, where American-Iranian voices were vibrantly circulating in comparison to the UK.
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'As a ‘nice’ Asian woman you don’t write about the body': Bernice Chauly
Bernice Chauly is a Malaysian novelist, poet, educator and former director of the George Town Literary Festival. She has published seven books of poetry and prose:
Articles
On Guest-Editing Japan: Literatures of Remembering
We spoke to Elizabeth Chappell, Hiromitsu Koiso and Yasuhiko Ogawa – our three guest editors – about curating, compiling and commissioning Wasafiri 102, our special issue on Japan. Wasafiri : Please tell us how you came to co-edit together.
Articles
'I had no room to get a running start, so I had to fly': Mieko Kawakami
Mieko Kawakami, born in Osaka in 1976, made her literary debut in 2006. She has published nearly thirty volumes of novels, short stories, poems, and essays.
Articles
Wasafiri Wonders: Morgan Giles
'I don't believe any word is untranslatable, just that we haven't been imaginative enough.'  … Ever wondered which book your favourite translator would secretly love to translate?
Articles
'It's not behind us. It's not in the past.'
On 7 June 2020, the city of Bristol burst into the international spotlight in a single moment of visual poetry, as protestors armed with ropes and determination did in a matter of minutes what the city had long failed to manage:
Articles
'Soft Liquid Rigour': Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments
It is hard to review a book of such gravitas and importance; a text that refuses the boundaries we were meant to exist within. How to honour the soft liquid rigour, the sharp vast tenderness, of a writer like Saidiya Hartman?
Articles
Marching with Mandela's Grandchildren
‘BLM organisers call off London event [13th June] to avoid clashes with far right’, the Guardian headline reads on the very evening I’m writing this…
Articles
Less Than Perfect by Prateek Nigam
Anasuya lies between the crumpled bedding. Even the slightest touch of the chenille blanket irks her. The cooler spews warm air into the bedroom of their top floor apartment in Bangalore. The walls seem to glow with heat like a tandoor. She kicks the blanket into a ball, pushing it into a corner.
Fiction
Diary From The Third Millennium by Thomas Waller
London is now three roundabouts. Each connected, each the same. All roads only lead to or from these roundabouts. No escape. But they’re big. Really big. London is now England and maybe even Europe. No one has settled anywhere, we all just keep driving, searching for somewhere else.
Poetry
Smokers by Janet Olearski
The Onorevole Gaetano Costa, the highest of high-court judges, domiciled in the city of Palermo, was a heavy smoker. His wife Rita did what she could to discourage the habit.
Articles
Quite A Catch by Matsuda Aoko
Hina-chan has such beautiful skin, I think as I wash her. Using a linen washcloth I’ve specially ordered to avoid irritating her delicate skin cells, I start from her toes, working slowly up the length of her body stretched out supine in the water.
Fiction
Nigerian Literature: Four Deaths and an Elegy
The last twelve months have been a terrible time for Nigerian literature. First, in March 2019, came the death of Pius Adesanmi in the Ethiopian Airways crash.
Articles
How to Marry an African President by Erica Sugo Anyadike
When you are interviewed for BBC documentaries in your palace, they will want to know how you met. Cast your eyes downward and tell them how you were a shy and hardworking secretary in the State House typing pool. Omit to mention that you were married. Lie that you were divorced and not looking.
Fiction
'I often think in threes': Namwali Serpell on the 'Great Zambian Novel'
High praise – ‘Dickensian’, ‘A worthy heir to Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude’ – and a prize considered a literary rite of passage – the Caine Prize for African Writing, or ‘Africa’s Booker’ – preceded the arrival of Zambian writer Namwali Serpell’s doorstopper debut…
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