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World Fiction

Fiction has entered a new era. Writers of novels and short stories are no longer writing only for their own nation or even for readers speaking their own language but are breaking national boundaries and reaching a worldwide audience. In the process authors from Africa, Asia and Latin America are winning greater prominence – and a new phenomenon identified as ‘world writing’ has emerged.

This issue of New Internationalist not only analyses these developments but also showcases four exquisite short stories as examples: ‘Fat’ by Krys Lee from South Korea; ‘In The Garden’ by FT Kola from South Africa; ‘Ghosts’ by the Cuban-American Ana Menéndez; and ‘The Lake Retba Murder’ by Efemia Chela from Zambia and Ghana.

October 2016, Issue 496

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From the magazine

Each month we publish some of the best stories from New Internationalist magazine.

  • Breaching the borders

    Breaching the borders

    Chris Brazier discusses the emergence of 'world writing' with Elleke Boehmer of Oxford University.

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  • 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

    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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  • The Lake Retba Murder (Le Meurtre au Lac Rose)

    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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  • 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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  • Windows on the world

    New Internationalist’s world fiction titles.

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  • Kissinger is not our friend

    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', writes Mark Engler.

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  • Proud to preach

    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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  • The sum of our disappointments

    The sum of our disappointments

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

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  • Country Profile: Honduras

    Country Profile: Honduras

    Louisa Reynolds reports on the country, considered the most violent in the world outside a war zone.

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  • Mixed Media: Films

    Mixed Media: Films

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

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  • Mixed Media: Music

    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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  • Big Bad World

    The latest Polyp cartoon, from October's New Internationalist magazine.

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  • Worldbeaters: Rodrigo Duterte

    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

    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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For over 40 years our multi-award winning, independent magazine has been shining a light on the unjust power relations between rich and poor. Learn more »

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