Literature From the "axis of Evil"
Writing From Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Other Enemy Nations : A Words Without Borders AnthologyBook - 2006
A collection of short stories and fictional excerpts by writers from such nations as Iraq, North Korea, and Cuba offers insight into the realities of daily life for individuals living under the regimes of villainized countries.
Subject of a full-length segment on Morning Edition when it first appeared in hardcover,Literature from the “Axis of Evil” quickly went to the top of the Amazon bestseller list. Its publication was celebrated by authors including Azar Nafisi and Alice Walker, and theBloomsbury Review named it a “book of the year.”
In thirty–five works of fiction and poetry, writers from countries Americans have not been allowed to hear from—until the Treasury Department revised its regulations recently—offer an invaluable window on daily life in “enemy nations” and humanize the individuals living there. The book includes works from Syria, Lybia, the Sudan, Cuba, as well as from Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. As editor Alane Mason writes in the introduction, “Not knowing what the rest of the world is thinking and writing is both dangerous and boring.”
Short stories and fiction excerpts from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, and other countries from whom the government would rather we didn't hear.
"Not knowing what the rest of the world is thinking and writing is both dangerous and boring."Alane Mason, founding editor, Words Without Borders
During the Cold War, writers behind the Iron CurtainSolzhenitsyn, Kundera, Miloszwere translated and published in the United States, providing an invaluable window on the Soviet regime's effects on daily life and humanizing the individuals living under its conditions.
Yet U.S. Treasury Department regulations made it almost impossible for Americans to gain access to writings from "evil" countries such as Iran and Cuba until recently. Penalties for translating such works or for "enhancing their value" by editing them included stiff fines and potential jail time for the publisher. With relaxation in 2005 of the Treasury regulations (in response to pressure from the literary and scientific publishing communities that culminated in a lawsuit), it is now possible, for the first time in many years, to read in English works from these disfavored nations.
The New Press and Words Without Borders are proud to be among the first to offer American readers contemporary literature of "enemy nations." Literature from the Axis of Evil includes thirty-five works of fiction from seven countries, most of which have never before been translated into English.