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Kurt Sweeney

Literary critic.

At the micro level in the language

Yoko Tawada, translated from German by Arild Vange: Without accent
CULTURAL CRITICISM: Yoko Tawada moves between German and Japanese words – in line with Paul Celan or Roland Barthes. But did you know that tears contain the stress hormone cortisol?

A death sentence on the Syrian state

Khaled Khalifa. Translated from Arabic by Oda A. Winsnes: Death is a toil
SYRIA: A multisectoral, multi-religious, multi-linguistic and multiethnic state torn to shreds by the Ba'ath party, extremists, militias and rival superpowers, all demanding their share of the country.

All against all

Translated from English by Signe Prøis: Behrouz Boochani: Only the mountains are my friend
REFUGEES: Unity is pulverized, everyone just thinks of managing on their own, surviving, tearing up an extra bite of food, a place in the food queue or the telephone queue.

The cultural binder

Don DeLillo, Translator Kyrre Haugen Bakke: The silence
NOVEL: DeLillo stages a kind of general, paranoid state, a suspicion that has global reach.

Conflicting views on life and work

Dave Eggers Hamish: The Parade
route selection: Two asphalt pavers – one naive and dreary, the other rational and conscientious – are commissioned by a global and financially strong client.

China's "forgotten" past

Ma Jian: China Dream, translated from Chinese
Looking back on the protagonist Ma Doade's past as a Red Guardian during the Cultural Revolution, China Dream challenges the extensive forgery of history in China.


Aina Villanger: Night emergency
Aina Villanger has written a collection of poems that will communicate, in a setting that is intimate and universal at the same time.

Espionage's personal costs

Javier Marias: Berta Island
Javier Marías' writing has a strong anti-authorial nerve that is subtle and without illusions.

Headed towards the light of the blind

Yan Lianke: The Day the Sun Died
Yan Lianke writes books that cross borders and language differences and qualify to be referred to as world literature. But in his homeland his books are forbidden.