Announcing the publication of and seeking submissions for:

Words Without Borders: An Anthology of Modern Literature from the Muslim World

Background

In 2009 Norton Publishers, in association with the literary journal "Words 
Without Borders" (WWB), will release Words Without Borders: An Anthology of 
Modern Literature from the Muslim World. This book will feature translations of 
important literary contributions of the twentieth century in Arabic, Persian, 
Turkish, Indonesian, Dari, and Urdu. This volume, with an estimated length of 
400 pages, is intended to provide students and general readers with an 
accessible introduction to a rich and varied literary tradition that is all too 
unfamiliar to most Americans. The aim is to help move the American 
consciousness of the Muslim world away from the terrorists and fanatics, and 
thus open a window into the lives of that portion of the Muslim world. 
Organized by language/region, the book will present samples of the major 
literary writing forms that have come to dominate modern literature: short 
story, free verse lyrics, plays, novel excerpts, and memoirs. 

WWB has invited Reza Aslan, author of No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, 
and Future of Islam, (Random House Trade, Jan 2006) to be guest editor of the 
anthology. He will be aided by a team of five sub-editors specializing in the 
literatures of specific languages and regions. I, John McGlynn, have been asked 
to serve as country editor for the section on Indonesia.

Opinion Survey

In the process of gathering together materials for the above publication, I 
would like to learn from Indonesian authors, literary critics, and other 
interested parties which authors they think would best represent Indonesia. If 
you fall into one of those categories and would like to weigh in on this 
matter, I hope you will take the time to fill in the questionnaire found below 
and return it to me. 

In weighing your choice of authors, there are a number of things of which you 
should be aware:

1.         Given the limited amount of space/pages that will be allotted for 
the Indonesia section-approximately 100-it is unlikely that more than 10-12 
authors can be included, comprising, perhaps, 7 prose writers (with short 
stories, essays, or excerpts from novels of 10-12 pages each in length) and 3-5 
poets, each with 3-5 poems. An excerpt from a play or two would also be 
considered. 

2.         Because the volume editor (Reza Aslan) is using the end of the 
Ottoman Empire as the starting date for works to be included in the volume, 
country editors will not be able to consider works that were written or 
published prior to 1950. 

3.         If possible, the country editor would like to include works spanning 
the last half of the 20th century period with samples of work from each decade. 
The country editor would also like to include both male and female authors.

4.         Thus far, the volume editor has set no restriction on the religion 
of the authors-i.e., that they must be Muslim. Therefore, please do not use 
religion as a factor when making your choices.
Titles of works chosen for selection in the anthology may have been published 
in translation previously. Both authors and translators will be paid an 
honorarium of US$100 per 1000 words for up to 1500 words. 

Questionnaire

1.         What is your name, position, and mailing address?
 
2.         What Indonesian authors of short fiction do you think should be 
represented in An Anthology of Modern Literature from the Muslim World? Please 
list up to ten authors and specific titles for each author.
 
3.         What Indonesian poets do you think should be represented in An 
Anthology of Modern Literature from the Muslim World? Please list up to five 
poets. (You need not cite specific titles of poems.)
 
4.         What other authors do you think should represent Indonesia in An 
Anthology of Modern Literature from the Muslim World? Name up to three. Your 
choice may include dramatists, essayists, and writers of memoirs.
 
After you have filled out this questionnaire, please return it to John McGlynn 
by email to 

[EMAIL PROTECTED] 

or by post to Jl. Danau Laut Tawar No. 53, Pejompongan, Jakarta 10210. All 
persons who complete the questionnaire and return it to John will receive a 
voucher for the purchase of books from the Lontar Foundation.
 

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