World Fiction Special - Exquisite short stories

A note from the editor

Chris Brazier

Stories that surprise

This issue of New Internationalist is rather different from the magazine you normally expect, in that its central section is devoted to four short stories. There is one from each of the anthologies of stories from around the world that we have published over the past year: Cooked Up, a lively compilation of fiction with food-related themes; Water, a new collection from Short Story Day Africa; The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other Stories, the latest anthology of the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing; and One World Two, a follow-up to our successful book One World in which the writers’ geographical origins and cultural perspectives are even more diverse. The stories we have chosen are by: Krys Lee from South Korea; FT Kola from South Africa; the Cuban-American Ana Menéndez; and Efemia Chela, who hails from Zambia and Ghana. They can be seen as part of a new kind of ‘world writing’ that is emerging in the 21st century and are introduced by a conversation with Professor Elleke Boehmer of Oxford University – herself an acclaimed novelist – who explains how stories such as these are breaking down national and literary boundaries.

Also in this issue, we welcome back popular contributor Maria Golia for a one-off letter from Cairo, and turn the spotlight on President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Chris Brazier for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

Unlikely godmother: Beyoncé, seen here performing ’Freedom‘ in California, has helped some African writers to reach a wider audience.

Unlikely godmother: Beyoncé, seen here performing ’Freedom‘ in California, has helped some African writers to reach a wider audience.

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

What exactly is ‘world fiction’?

Chris Brazier interviews Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English at Oxford University.

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When we talk about ‘world writing’, what exactly does that mean?

It’s becoming quite an established term now in literary studies, particularly in comparative literary studies – working between different language literatures. It’s seeing some interesting push-pull contestation with what is still called postcolonial literary studies and there are different critical interest groups that are motivating both. And then there’s probably a third stream that is, as it were, arbitrating betwe...




Features.

Ghosts

The suicide of a Cuban immigrant to Florida calls up all kinds of phantoms for Anna, herself a migrant from the Czech Republic. By Ana Menéndez.

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In The Garden

A eunuch scribe at the ancient Egyptian court in Alexandria witnesses a pivotal moment in the life of his young princess, Cleopatra. Written by FT Kola.

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Fat

A young South Korean‘s attempts to avoid conscription by becoming obese cause uproar in his family. Written by Krys Lee.

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The Lake Retba Murder (Le Meurtre au Lac Rose)

Roberto comes across a body in the lake and feels compelled to investigate – but all his lover Mireille seems to want is sex. Written by Efemia Chela.

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Windows on the world

New Internationalist’s featured world fiction titles

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Opinion.

Bosom buddies: Hillary Clinton's cosy relationship with Henry Kissinger is nothing to laugh about.

Kissinger is not our friend

The former US Secretary of State endorsed human rights violations in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Argentina, yet Hillary Clinton calls him 'a friend'.

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Agenda.

Thwe Thwe Win walks to her farm near the copper mine in Burma.

Land defenders step up in Burma

Caught between a growing economy and the peace process, farmers' land rights are being left behind, writes Erin Kildride.

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Trouble in the pipeline

Trouble in the pipeline

Bringing gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, the Southern Gas Corridor would fortify Baku's autocratic regime, says Ido Liven.

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Cornish resurgence

Cornish resurgence

The UK government has cut funds to Kernewek, the Cornish language, but residents are fighting back. Amy Hall reports.

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Introducing Theresa May

What to expect from the United Kingdom's new Prime Minister: tough times for the environment, some elitism and clashes with Scotland. By Richard Swift.

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Pride under pressure in Uganda

Pride under pressure in Uganda

The Ugandan LGBT community is under shock after police raided the Ugandan Pride Week, reports Jess Worth.

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Street art in Oaxaca city centre showing President Peña Nieto shooting a high-calibre weapon.

Mexican teachers fight on

Federal police use firearms on protesting dissident teachers organizing a blockade, killing eight and injuring over 100. By María De Vecchi Gerli and Jen Wilton.

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Life in limbo in Israel

Life in limbo in Israel

Inside the Holot Detention Facility, where Israel keeps Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers captive, by Megan Hanna.

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Bangladesh's smashing pumpkins

Bangladesh's smashing pumpkins

Bangladeshi farmers employ a new tool in their struggle against poverty and climate change... pumpkins. Kelsi Farrington reports.

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Dam fine victory in Brazil

Dam fine victory in Brazil

How the Mundukuru people won their battle to cancel plans for a massive new dam in the Amazon.

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Reasons to be cheerful

A refugee running for president; Uruguay wins against Philip Morris; US ends private prisons.

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Regulars.

Letters

Praise, blame and all points in between? Give us your feedback.

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The sum of our disappointments

In Cairo, normality is something of a heroic enterprise, Maria Golia explains.

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Open Window: Aleppo

Vasco Gargalo from Portugal with ‘Aleppo’

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Scratchy Lines: Our leaders

The latest cartoon by Simon Kneebone.

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Proud to preach

When the news seems ridiculous and shocking, we need competence to fill faith gap it creates, writes Chris Coltrane.

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Clockwise from top left: Portrait of a boy from San Nicolas, to the west of Santa Barbara; an orphan from San Pedro Sula, holding photos of his parents; young footballers, also from San Pedro Sula, representing various health threats; children and cows picking through a rubbish dump in the capital, Tegucigalpa; and the cook is Elvira Garcia, from the indigenous Maya Chorti community in Copan province, bordering Guatemala.

Country Profile: Honduras

Hondurans are not searching for the American Dream, they are fleeing from the nightmare of violence and repression in their country.

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Worldbeaters: Rodrigo Duterte

The president of the Philippines he may be, but his reputation is as a Dirty Harry of vigilante politics.

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And finally... Toni Myers

Training astronauts to shoot film? All in a day's work for the Canadian documentary filmmaker, writes Cristiana Moisescu.

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Film, Book & Music Reviews.

Arquímedes and son, up to no good in The Clan.

Mixed media: Films

The Clan, directed and co-written by Pablo Trapero; Urban Hymn, directed by Michael Caton-Jones.

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Dolma Renqingi, one of the refugee musicians on this powerful, crowdfunded album.

Mixed Media: Music

Amerli by Refugees for Refugees and Anda by Melingo.

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Mixed Media: Books

The Caliphate, Red Ellen, Eve out of Her Ruins, and 'Migrant, refugee, smuggler, saviour' reviewed in this month's New Internationalist magazine.

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