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Words Without Borders Celebrates 15 Years of Publishing New International Writing

By Words Without Borders

Special anniversary issue looks back at magazine’s impact on writers

Words Without Borders has launched its fifteenth anniversary with the publication of a special issue, “The World Through the Eyes of Writers: Celebrating Fifteen Years.”

The issue showcases favorite work by Can Xue, Juan Villoro, Etel Adnan, Akinwumi Isola, and eleven other international writers recommended by the likes of José Saramago, Wole Soyinka, Elena Poniatowska, and Naguib Mahfouz. First published together in the 2008 print anthology The World Through the Eyes of Writers, these writers have since reappeared in English translation in WWB and gone on to wider international success.

WWB founding editor Samantha Schnee said of the issue: 

“This anniversary issue looks back to the beginning of a ‘great exploration’ for us at WWB. The fifteen writers here reflect the dazzling variety of international voices the magazine has brought to readers of English in the past decade and a half.”

Founded in 2003 on a commitment to diversify the literary landscape, Words Without Borders has published well over 2,400 writers from 134 countries, translated from 114 languages. These include four Nobel Prize winners and writers like Elena Ferrante, Svetlana Alexievich, Han Kang, and László Krasznahorkai who reached readers of English through WWB before becoming international sensations.

The publication is now bringing international literature to young readers through its free, online education program, WWB Campus, which presents writing by more than 80 authors including Carmen Boullosa, Svetlana Alexievich, Yu Hua, and Nawal El Saadawi.

The anniversary will be commemorated throughout the year with a series of special events, publications, and parties, including the 15th anniversary Words Without Borders Gala on October 30, 2018, where the fifth annual Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature will be presented.

We invite you to read the fifteenth anniversary issue and explore the complete WWB archive of international literature published since 2003.

Published May 3, 2018   Copyright 2018 Words Without Borders

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