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I am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan

On that September 11th I had a conversation with a professor friend who was teaching a creative writing class that evening. He questioned, “What can I possibly teach when all of this has happened?” While the dismay and grief were his reference, the question touches on a matter much deeper: what is art’s purpose? Either ...

Latest Review: "I am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan"

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Grant Barber on I am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan translated by Eliza Griswold, and out last month from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Because I don’t know much about the tradition of Afghan landays, though I do find it both fascinating ...

Latest Review: "The Corpse Washer" by Sinan Antoon

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is from Grant Barber on Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer, from Yale University Press. Grant is not only a keen bibliophile, and an Episcopal priest living on the south shore of Boston, but has reviewed for Three Percent for forever, basically, and sometimes also performs as ...

The Corpse Washer

Antoon gives us a remarkable novel that in 184 pages captures the experience of an Iraqi everyman who has lived through the war with Iran in the first half of the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War over the Kuwaiti invasion, and then the 2003 war. Jawad is the youngest child from a Baghdad family. His father, like his father before ...

Selected Translations by W. S. Merwin

“South” To have watched from one of your patios the ancient stars from the bank of shadow to have watched the scattered lights my ignorance has learned no names for nor their places in constellations to have heard the ring of water in the secret pool known the scent of jasmine and honeysuckle the silence ...

Latest Review: "Selected Translations" by W. S. Merwin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Grant Barber on Selected Translations by W. S. Merwin, from Copper Canyon Press. Selected Translations is a collection of Merwin’s greatest translations, representing authors from all over the world and languages from almost every corner. Grant Barber is a regular ...

Where Tigers Are at Home

French author—philosopher, poet, novelist—de Roblès writes something approaching the Great (Latin) American Novel, about Brazilian characters, one of whom is steeped in the life of the seventeenth century polymath (but almost always erroneous) Jesuit Athanasius Kircher. Eleazard von Wogau, a French journalist lives in a ...