Karavan: Mikronovellernas universum

I guess magazines are the only thing I read anymore?

My third and final subscription (though Med andra ord looks interesting, and we won’t count Asymptote since I don’t send them any money) is Karavan, a literary magazine that focuses on literature in translation, primarily from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The theme for this issue was “micronoveller,” or microfiction. That makes this the first issue I’ve read where all the literature featured was self contained, i.e. no extracts from novels.

What did I learn? In brief, that microfiction is a rich tradition in Iraq, a popular new form of content on apps and websites in China, and that Ana María Shua is Argentina’s reigning microfiction queen. In addition to the (very short) stories and poems translated from Arabic, Mandarin, and Spanish, this issue featured interviews with Pilar Quintana and Monique Ilboudo, a précis on Jeferson Tonório by Balsam Karam (whose novel Singulariteten I recently finished) and an essay by Mariana Enríquez on journalism and Argentinian cuisine. Out of the new releases reviewed, this is my note to myself that Samar Yazbek‘s Where the Wind Calls Home (Swe: Där vinden vilar) sounded the most interesting.

Karam and a Palestinian poet from Gaza featured, Somaya el Sousi, were both featured at Stockholms litteraturmässan this past weekend. I was unable to attend el Sousi’s reading, though I did pick up her volume En flöjt av mörker. Karam’s panel discussion on libraries was much later in the day, however, and fit nicely into my schedule. She was very funny and very light, not at all what I would have expected from her writing here in Karavan or in Singulariteten, but those are separate thoughts.

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katherine

Stockholm-based translator and copyeditor of American extraction.

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