“Silence Became My Mother Tongue”: A Conversation with Sulaiman Addonia, by Anderson Tepper

Interviews Photo of Sulaiman Addonia by Alexander Meeus. For me, one of the most astounding books of this past year—which may have slipped your attention due to the pandemic—was Silence Is My Mother Tongue, the second novel by Ethiopian Eritrean writer Sulaiman Addonia (@sulaimanaddonia). Published last September by Graywolf Press, the novel is just now beginning to get the recognition it deserves: it was recently shortlisted for the Firecracker Award for Independently Published Literature and is a 2021 LAMBDA Literary Award finalist. Set in a refugee camp in Sudan, the novel defies expectations—shimmering with sensual detail, it charts the daily encounters and erotic dreams of an extraordinary cast of characters, with the inseparable siblings Saba and her mute brother, Hagos, at its center. Of course, since war erupted in Ethiopia’s Tigray region this past winter, Addonia’s work has only taken on more resonance. “I have been looking at the pictures of refugees fleeing Tigray and waiting outside the United Nations refugee agency office at Hamdayet in Sudan,” Addonia wrote in a New York Times editorial in late November, “the place through which my family and I passed decades ago, on our way to a refugee camp further inland. I was struck by the eyes of young children. Their gazes retreat and shift, as if their wide eyes have already become the trenches into which they will hide their childhood.” We spoke by email—Addonia... Continue reading at 'World Literature Today'

[ World Literature Today | 2021-05-18 13:43:22 UTC ]
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A Deep Bow to Mombasa (and Sea Monsters): A Conversation with Khadija Abdalla Bajaber, by Anderson Tepper

Interviews Khadija Abdalla Bajaber’s astonishing debut novel, The House of Rust, winner of the inaugural Graywolf Press Africa Prize, arrived in October as if on a magical wave, imbued with an assortment of creatures—human and animal, real and... Continue reading at World Literature Today

[ World Literature Today | 2021-11-15 21:42:08 UTC ]
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Keeping a Critical Eye on Brazil: A Conversation with Emilio Fraia, by Anderson Tepper

Interviews Emilio Fraia’s Sevastopol, out this summer from New Directions, is the sort of book that beguiles and dazzles in equal measure. Consisting of three disparate stories—of a mountain climber attempting to scale Mt. Everest, a mysterious loner... Continue reading at World Literature Today

[ World Literature Today | 2021-08-09 20:31:30 UTC ]
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Pacing the Lion’s Path in Cuba: A Conversation with Carlos Manuel Álvarez, by Anderson Tepper

Interviews Carlos Manuel Álvarez’s debut novel, The Fallen—a withering portrait of a Cuban family with conflicting visions of their country and their roles within it—was published in June 2020 and has helped establish Álvarez as one of the leading... Continue reading at World Literature Today

[ World Literature Today | 2021-03-29 21:52:25 UTC ]
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“Lusting after a Tart of Peacock Tongues”: A Conversation with Publisher Barbara Epler, by Veronica Esposito

Interviews Barbara Epler started working at New Directions after graduating from college in 1984, and she has been its president and publisher since 2011. In 2015 Poets & Writers awarded Epler their Editor’s Prize, and in 2016 Words Without Borders... Continue reading at World Literature Today

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Art as a “Catalyst for Conversations”: A Conversation with Philbrook Curator Susan Green, by Michelle Johnson

Culture Adrian Aguilera (Mexican, b. 1981) and Betelhem Makonnen (Ethiopian American, b. 1972), untitled (a flag for John Lewis or a green screen placeholder for an America that is yet to be), 2020 (installation view). Printed standard flag fabric,... Continue reading at World Literature Today

[ World Literature Today | 2021-07-15 19:45:53 UTC ]
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In “All My Mother’s Lovers,” a Mother’s Secret Letters Reveal Her Secret Life

Not to sound like an assistant district attorney from SVU, but it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that acclaimed essayist and book critic Ilana Masad has carved a prominent space for herself in the realm of mother-daughter literature with her debut novel, All My Mother’s Lovers. It sits upon a... Continue reading at Electric Literature

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Reading Reality through the Imagination: In Conversation with Enrique Vila-Matas, by Anna María Iglesia

Interviews   Photo by Diane Picchiottino / Unsplash That Famous Abyss (Wunderkammer, 2020) is a book of exclusive interviews with Enrique Vila-Matas by cultural journalist Anna María Iglesia, covering such themes as why write, the places of... Continue reading at World Literature Today

[ World Literature Today | 2021-11-29 21:46:44 UTC ]
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‘We Are Not Like Them’ continues an important conversation. We shouldn’t look away.

Christine Pride and Jo Piazza’s novel explores the fallout after the shooting of an unarmed Black teen. Continue reading at The Washington Post

[ The Washington Post | 2021-11-02 12:00:00 UTC ]
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Watching a Magazine, Reading a Movie: On Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch is probably what you’d call an anthology film—which is to say it’s a compendium of several mini-films, unrelated topically but all connected somehow—but it also might not even be what you’d call a film at all. I’m not sure. We’ll think on this together in a... Continue reading at Literrary Hub

[ Literrary Hub | 2021-10-22 15:57:31 UTC ]
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“Everything alive aches for more”: A Conversation with Kari Gunter-Seymour, Poet Laureate of Ohio, by Renee Shea

Interviews   Photo by Kari Gunter-Seymour / www.karigunterseymourpoet.com Kari Gunter-Seymour (b. 1955) is having a moment—soon to become two years of moments since she was appointed in June 2020 to a two-year term as the Poet Laureate of Ohio.... Continue reading at World Literature Today

[ World Literature Today | 2021-10-07 13:41:36 UTC ]
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A World to Be Repaired: A Conversation with Dimitris Lyacos, by Toti O’Brien

Interviews Dimitris Lyacos with Marsias / Photo by Walter Melcher In 2019 I interviewed Dimitris Lyacos on the occasion of the US tour/launch of his trilogy, Poena Damni, which had been recently released in the English complete edition. When we... Continue reading at World Literature Today

[ World Literature Today | 2021-10-04 20:23:19 UTC ]
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Our culture of silence

I recently had a celebratory drink with an editor. They described their previous job at one of the major conglomerates by telling me how they had cried every single day on their way to work for two years (they left just pre-covid), so anxious were they that they were going to get the sack, be... Continue reading at The Bookseller

[ The Bookseller | 2021-09-24 10:22:37 UTC ]
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In Liane Moriarty’s ‘Apples Never Fall,’ a mother disappears and a family falls to pieces

Moriarty tells a fresh, juicy tale about four siblings and their tennis-obsessed parents. Continue reading at The Washington Post

[ The Washington Post | 2021-09-16 14:28:19 UTC ]
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Michel Bussi’s thriller ‘The Double Mother’ twists, then twists again

The French author (and geopolitics professor) delivers another captivating mystery novel Continue reading at The Washington Post

[ The Washington Post | 2021-09-10 13:00:00 UTC ]
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Balancing on the Edge of Fashion and Art: A Conversation with Amber Ambrose Aurèle, by Margaret Larmuth

Culture Photo by Deborah Vaia Amber Ambrose Aurèle is a shoe designer, teacher, and art historicist. In 2012 she graduated as one of the first-generation Master Shoe Design at ArtEZ Fashion Masters. She searches for the boundaries between fashion... Continue reading at World Literature Today

[ World Literature Today | 2021-09-03 14:43:50 UTC ]
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He fought in the Marines and MMA matches. A novel about his mother was the fight of his life

Atticus Lish was acclaimed for his first novel 'Preparation for the Next Life.' His second, 'The War for Gloria,' is more raw, painful and personal. Continue reading at Los Angeles Times

[ Los Angeles Times | 2021-09-02 13:00:39 UTC ]
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'Tantalising new voice' Anderson wins Leapfrog Prize

Chicago-based writer K L Anderson has won the Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize for her novel But First You Need a Plan. Continue reading at The Bookseller

[ The Bookseller | 2021-08-20 18:19:20 UTC ]
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‘We see silence filled with fear’: female Afghan journalists plead for help

Women in media in Kabul tell of trying to destroy traces of their identity as they brace for Taliban retributionWhen president Ashraf Ghani slipped out of Afghanistan with no warning, he took with him any glimpse of hope left for the nation’s women – especially those who are educated and... Continue reading at The Guardian

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In ‘Savage Tongues,’ a woman ponders a troubling relationship in her past

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s second novel follows her 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for “Call Me Zebra.” Continue reading at The Washington Post

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