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Other titles in the Words Without Borders Anthologies series:
Wall in My Head: Words and Images from the Fall of the Iron Curtainby Words Without Borders
This valuable collection of stories, memoir, poems, images, and reportage from former Soviet Bloc countries gives an intimate glimpse of how life has changed — for better and for worse — since 1989. The texts are visually anchored with images of posters, photographs, and historical documents (both underground and official). Because the editors chose not to label pieces as either fiction or nonfiction, I found myself wondering whether certain improbable stories were "true" or not, which was a powerful reminder of the absurdity of day-to-day life for generations of central and eastern Europeans. This book is a history lesson that will leave you wanting more. And handily, many of the authors have been previously translated into English, so it won't be hard to find.
Synopses & Reviews
On the night of November 9, 1989, after months of unrest in Europe and East Germany, the checkpoints between East and West Berlin were suddenly, almost accidentally, opened, starting a process that would bring together a Europe that had been divided for thirty years.
The Wall in My Head, an anthology that features fiction, essays, images, and historical documents, marks the 20th anniversary of this momentous collapse and sheds light on how it came to pass. Combining work from the generation of writers and artists who witnessed the fall of the Iron Curtain first-hand with the impressions and reflections of those who grew up in its wake, The Wall in My Head provides a unique view into the change, optimism, and confusion that came with 1989 and examines how each of these has weathered the past 20 years.
Highlights within include seminal excerpts from the work of Milan Kundera, Peter Schneider, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Vladimir Sorokin, and Victor Pelevin, and new work from Péter Esterházy, Andrzej Stasiuk, Muharem Bazdulj, Maxim Trudolubov, Dorota Maslowska, Uwe Tellkamp, Dan Sociu, David Zábranský, Christhard Läpple, and a host of others.
"Personal recollection and reflection can provide readers with a deeper understanding of an event. This anthology...does this exceptionally well." Library Journal
"The Wall in My Head can be really breathtaking.... It contains countless telling quotidian remembrances, moments when the unthinkable happens, and moments that seem only unthinkable now." Front Table
"Thought-provoking, oddly nostalgic...The Wall in My Head is a worthy investigation of a way of life which, for all its flaws, found a place in the hearts and minds of millions." Harvard Crimson
"The editors have arranged these high-caliber works to create a tension between celebratory and somber writing, and that gives the book a touch of greatness." Brooklyn Rail
About the Author
Words Without Borders is a nonprofit organization with an online magazine featuring works in translation from around the world. Each month it publishes a new "themed" issue that focuses either on a place or topic, and highlights some of the most interesting contemporary writing. The editors of Words Without Borders have been involved in the publication of two other international anthologies: Literature from the "Axis of Evil" (New Press, 2006) and Words without Borders: The World through the Eyes of Writers (Anchor Books, 2007).
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