Eleven years ago, months after the Virginia Tech shooting, David Foster Wallace wrote a plea we can trot out at every mass shooting:
Are some things still worth dying for? Is the American idea one such thing? Are you up for a thought experiment? What if we chose to regard the 2,973 innocents killed in the atrocities of 9/11 not as victims but as democratic martyrs, “sacrifices on the altar of freedom”?
If you want to know what Istanbul was like at the turn of the twentieth century, read Loxandra. Maria Iordanidou’s novel, translated into English for the first time, effortlessly recounts the rhythms and ways of life in the city long past. First published in 1963, the book was so popular in Greek that it has been reissued ten times and was made into a television series in 1980, eventually bestowing Iordanidou with two of the highest honours in Greek literature.
When the earthquakes shook Mexico City on September 21, 2017, grassroots women leaders knew what to do.
The Mexico City earthquake, at a magnitude of 7.1, struck on the 32nd anniversary of the deadly earthquake of 1985. Of the 369 people killed, two out of three were female. Post-disaster conditions, with over 150,000 houses damaged, 25,000 destroyed, and with 12,000 damaged schools, pose a particular challenge to women.
In this particular moment, journalists have come under fire for their presentation or concoctions of the “truth” with a capital T. They’re expected to write as objectively as possible, but writers, especially those who write historical fiction, have been known to bend facts in service of story and are often not included in that charge.
Discover Istanbul's best antique shops, and the stories behind them.
Reforming Malaysia's education system means acknowledging that famed warrior is nothing more than a myth, starting up debates across intellectual, political, and ethnic lines.
An article for The Oxonian Globalist in which contemporary rhinoceros hunters are too effective in their methods.
Orhan Pamuk's Museum of Innocence as seen through his homonymous novel shows us where Turkey has been and where it is now with a heavy dose of nostalgia.
The Vietnam War has long been recognized as a turning point in the United States as a country, in which Americans lost their “innocence” with regards to politics and war, though we usually leave the war to a brief mention at the end of our American history classes and call it a day. But if you look at the war and the particular cultural moment in which it happened through the works of writers such as Robert Stone, the importance of understanding our current culturally and politically frenetic...
On April 24, 2015 I was in Istanbul when the hundred-year commemorations of the start of the Armenian Genocide were taking place. There, at the mouth of İstiklal Caddesi, the largest shopping street in the city, a group of Armenians, Turks, and foreigners ended a walk to remember the massacre. They held red carnations, photos of the intellectuals, and signs—in Turkish, Armenian, and English—stating their desire to remember the Armenian Genocide.
I never thought I’d see such a thing...
I interview Michael Reynolds, editor-in-chief of Europa Editions, an independent publisher of literature in translation, with a heavy emphasis on Europe. The publishing house is perhaps best known for Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels and Murial Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. We chatted against a constant thrum of construction within full view of the Europa Editions light-filled offices about Reynold’s ambitious program, Europa Editions’ unique mission in the field of translation publishing, and how Reynolds’ life and time abroad informs his sensibilities as an editor.
The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay is a kaleidoscopic, genre-bending historical suspense thriller that's sprawling in its ambitions, with three twining narratives, one set in 2003 in Las Vegas, another set in Venice in 1595 (featuring a former Ottoman janissary), and the third in Venice Beach, California in the 1958. It’s not easy to write historical fiction, let alone to easily pull it off when it weaves between the past and the present, never mind the challenge of a good suspense novel. ...in the end, Seay's ambitions don’t match his present abilities.
I spoke with translator and professor Dr. Karen Emmerich about how she decides what to translate, the responsibility of translators and writers in depicting foreign countries, and current popular impressions of Greece.