Mission

Winner of the 2015 London Book Fair's International Translation Initiative Award, Asymptote is an exciting new international journal dedicated to literary translation and bringing together in one place the best in contemporary writing. To date, the magazine has published literature from 96 countries and 72 languages, including hitherto unpublished work by writers and translators such as J. M. Coetzee, Patrick Modiano, Can Xue, Ismail Kadare, David Mitchell, Anne Carson, Haruki Murakami, Lydia Davis, and Herta Müller. We are interested in encounters between languages and the consequences of these encounters. Though a translation may never fully replicate the original in effect (thus our name, “asymptote”: the dotted line on a graph that a mathematical function may tend towards but never reach), it is in itself an act of creation.

 

George Bernard Shaw famously said, “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange those ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” Similarly, incorporeal works of art (poems, short stories, etc.) have the potential to affect millions, since unlike apples, they are unencumbered by the problem of scarcity (Lewis Hyde). The value of translation is that it unleashes from latency ideas and emotions to a vast sea of others who do not have access to the language in which these ideas and emotions reside.

 

Beyond the eclectic platter of languages presented in each issue, Asymptote seeks to persuade the reader of their sensual pleasures. Not only do we display work in its original language after the English translation, we sometimes offer the sounds of that language as well, via a “Press PLAY” audio option whenever such an MP3 recording is available. Other than the usual categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama and interviews, we also feature a section for visual art that relates to Asymptote's concerns of language and translation.


Every quarter, we showcase two Special Features: the first a Writers on Writers Feature, in which overlooked non-English writers are concisely introduced and the second a wildcard Feature that varies from issue to issue. For our call for submissions in the Special Feature category in our next issues, and for detailed guidelines for submissions in other sections, please check out our Submit page.

Masthead

Our editorial team presently comprises the following:

 

Video

Video 10

An Introduction to Asymptote

Video 9

A Primer to Asymptote

Video 2

Forrest Gander on Asymptote

Video 3

Reif Larsen on Asymptote

Video 15

Faruk Šehić reads for Asymptote

Video 13

Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary (2/2)

Video 11

Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary (1/2)

Video 17

July Issue 2015 Trailer

Video 18

Jan Issue 2015 Trailer

Video 19

October Issue 2014 Trailer

Video 16

July Issue 2014 Trailer

Video 14

April Issue 2014 Trailer

Video 12

January Issue 2014 Trailer

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October Issue 2013 Trailer

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July Issue 2013 Trailer

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April Issue 2013 Trailer

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Jan Issue 2013 Trailer

Video 7

2nd Anniversary Global Launch

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FAQ

Praise

A truly great journal.

– Tomaž Šalamun

Except for being utterly professional, one can see that Asymptote is a true labor of love. Very impressive.

– Etgar Keret

Magnificent.

– David Mitchell

No other contemporary journal reaches as far into the wealth of the world's literature, or as deeply into the life of the word.

– Sidney Wade

Asymptote is trained to a new perimeter‚ excitingly so. There is the feeling that its editors are listening, not just for a new sound‚ although it feels very new‚ but for the full sound, taking in parts of the tonal spectrum that have been ignored for too long. Cosmopolitan and generous in the deepest sense. Its aura is that of excitement.

– Sven Birkerts

An almost unbelievably good international magazine; the whole thing is very much exactly the people/work/translations I want to be reading‚ and then a number of excellent writers I didn't know.

– Forrest Gander

This journal is an invaluable addition to our cultural landscape, and I'm enormously grateful for the labor, intelligence, and passion that underlies its elegant and eloquent pages.

– Jane Hirshfield

I love the collective impetus, the breadth of vision, the polylingualism‚ the universality which is at the core of the journal's poetics. A lot of journals include documents of poetics, but very few have a deeply driven poetics in themselves, across all genres plus all genres in-between. Asymptote is full of life and beautifully poised, and it has bite!

– John Kinsella

Asymptote is quickly establishing itself as one of the most interesting‚ and best designed‚ translation websites out there.

– Chad Post

Mentions

– 26 Nov 2013
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– 26 Dec 2012
– 2 Aug 2012
– 19 Apr 2012
– Jan/Feb 2012
– Sep 2011
– 28 Sep 2011
– 29 Sep 2011
– 1 Aug 2011
– 26 Jul 2011
– 4 Jun 2011
– 27 Mar 2011
– 21 Feb 2011

Contributors

Authors
A. L. Snijders
A. Medvedenko
Aamer Hussein
Aandaal
Abdellah Taïa
Abdourahman Waberi
Abigael Bohórquez
Adina Dabija
Adonis
Adrian West
Afzal Ahmed Syed
Agi Mishol
Agnar Artúvertin
Aimé Césaire
Akiko Yosano
Alai
Alain de Botton
Alberto Guerra Naranjo
Alberto Ruy-Sánchez
Alcman
Alejandro Ricaño
Alejandro Zambra
Aleksey Porvin
Aleksey Scherbak
Alex Cigale
Aleš Debeljak
Aleš Šteger
Allan Popa
Amal al-Jubouri
Amalie Smith
Amanda Lee Koe
Amélie Nothomb
Amina Saïd
Ana Ristović
Anacreon
András Forgách
Andrey Platonovich Platonov
Ann Bogle
Anthony Luebbert
Antonio Chen
Antonio Geraldini
Antonio Ungar
Arash Allahverdi
Archilochus
Ariane Dreyfus
Arnon Grunberg
Arseny Tarkovsky
Auvini Kadresengan
Ava Koohbor
Avianti Armand
Avrom Sutzkever
Ayesha Harruna Attah
Azra Raza and Sara Suleri Goodyear
Étienne Lepage
Éva Fahidi
Éva Fahidi
Balazs Gyore
Banaphool
Bùi Chát
Belinda Chang
Benudhar Sharma
Betina González
Beverly Dahlen
Bharati Mukherjee
Bidel Dehlavi
Boey Kim Cheng
Bogdan Ghiu
Bohumil Hrabal
Bradley L. Garrett
Breyten Breytenbach
Brian Libgober
Brittani Sonnenberg
Bruno Jasieński
Caridad Svich
Carlos Labbé
Carol Dorf
César Aira
César Vallejo
Celia Dropkin
Ch'oe In-ho
Chang Hui-Ching
Chantal Bilodeau
Chế Lan Viên
Chi Ta-wei
Chika Unigwe
Christian Dumoux
Christian Nagle
Chu T'ien-wen
Chuya Nakahara
Claes Andersson
Clarissa Botsford
Claude Clayton Smith
Clizia Riva
Cole Swensen
Constantine P. Cavafy
Cosmin Borza
Cristina Peri Rossi
Cyril Wong
Czeslaw Milosz
Dagmara Kraus
Dale Peck
Daniel Aristi
Daniel Brière
Daniel Kahn
Daniela Kapitáňová
Danniel Schoonebeek
Danniel Schoonebeek
Dara Abdallah
David Albahari
David Avidan
David Gibbons
David Leavitt
David Shields
David Stromberg
Dea Loher
Denisa Comănescu
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
Dezső Kosztolányi
Diego de San Pedro
Dmitriy Levitskiy
Doina Ioanid
Dominic Pettman
Dominique Eddé
Dorthe Nors
Dremko Candil
Dubravka Ugrešić
Durs Grünbein
Dylan Suher
Eduard Màrquez
Eduardo Espina
Eduardo Milán
Efraín Bartolomé
Egoyan Zheng
Elena Guiochins
Elena Panga
Elina Hirvonen
Elisa Biagini
Elisabeth Rynell
Elke Erb
Emilio Prados
Emilio Villa
Emily Lundin
Enrico Pea
Enrique Winter
Erez Bitton
Eric Nepomuceno
Erika Burkart
Erika Sigvardsdotter
Ernest Wichner
Etgar Keret
Eugene Ostashevsky
Euphrase Kezilahabi
Eva Heisler
Evan McGarvey
Evelyne de la Chenelière
Ewald Palmetshofer
Fabio Pusterla
Fady Joudah
Farhad Showghi
Faruk Šehić
Fernando Pessoa
Flannery O'Connor
Flávio de Araújo
Florian Duijsens
Francesca Pellegrino
Francis Ponge
Francisca Aguirre
Francisco "Paco" Urondo
Franco Arminio
Frédéric Diart
Frédéric Forte
Fredrik Nyberg
Freke Räihä
Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Fritz Kater
Fu-chen Lo
Gail Hareven
Gábor Németh
Gérard de Nerval
Gérard Macé
Geeta Patel
Gellu Naum
Gen'yū Sōkyū
Gene Oishi
Gennady Aygi
Genya Turovskaya
Geoff Wisner
George Gömöri
George Szirtes
George Vulturescu
Georges Perec
Georgy Ivanov
Gerard Beirne
Ghulam Fatima Shaikh and Popati Hiranandani
Gibrán Portela
Gili Haimovich
Giorgos Neophytou
Giovanni Pascoli
Gleb Shulpyakov
Goce Smilevski
Gonçalo M. Tavares
Gonzalo Aguilar
Grégoire Chamayou
Grzegorz Wróblewski
Habib Tengour
Hafez
Hagiwara Sakutarō
Hai Zi
Hai-Dang Phan
Hakan Savlı
Han Lao Da
Hanoch Levin
Haruki Murakami
Hassan Daoud
Hélène Sanguinetti
Hebe Uhart
Herta Müller
Hervé Guibert
Hester Knibbe
Hideo Furukawa
Hijab Imtiaz Ali
Hilda Hilst
Hirato Renkichi
Hiroaki Sato
Howard Goldblatt
Hsia Yü
Huang Chunming
Husam Al-Saray
Idra Novey
Igor Pomerantsev
Ihor Pavlyuk
Ileana Mǎlǎncioiu
Ilse Aichinger
Ilya Ilf
Imre Kertész
Indrė Valantinaitė
Ingrid Winterbach
Ionuț Sociu
Irene Nemirovksy
J. Rodolfo Wilcock
J.M. Coetzee
Jacob Emery
Jaime Sabines
Jamie Richards
Jan Grue
Jana Beňová
Jérôme Tubiana
Jón Thoroddsen
Jean Améry
Jean-Philippe Toussaint
Jen Burris
Jens August Schade
Jeong Ho-Seung
Jing Xianghai
Joe Walker and Pat Walker
John Smelcer
John Taylor
Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Jonathan Littell
Jorge Esquinca
José Antonio Mazzotti
José Mármol
José Saramago
José-Flore Tappy
José-Flore Tappy
Josef Winkler
Josefine Klougart
Jou-chin Chen
Juan Gelman
Judita Vaičiūnaitė
Julián Herbert
Justin Taylor
Karim Zaimović
Karthika Naïr
Katrine Marie Guldager
Kevin Smullin Brown
Kim Hyesoon
Kim Ki-Taek
Kim Kyung Ju
Kim Yi-deum
Kiwao Nomura
Klaus Merz
Klaus Rothstein
Ko Machida
Ko Un
Kou Reishi
Kristina Lugn
Krisztina Tóth
Laksmi Pamuntjak
Lam Thi My Da
Laura Campmany
László Krasznahorkai
Lý Đợi
Lee Sung-Mi
Lee Wai-Yi
Lee Yew Leong
Lennox Raphael
Leonard Ng
Leslie Kaplan
Lev Rubinstein
Li Ang
Li Li
Liao Yiwu
Lila Zemborain
Limam Boicha
Lin Yaode
Lina Meruane
Liu Zhenyun
Lo Kwai Cheung
Loida Arevalo
Ludwik Sztyrmer
Luis García Montero
Luis Rosales
Lutz Seiler
Maksym Kurochkin
Mang Ke
Manuel Iris
María do Cebreiro
Marcelo Morales Cintero
Marek Bieńczyk
Margarita García Robayo
MARGENTO
Mariana Enriquez
Marianne Fritz
Mariët Meester
Marie-Claire Bancquart
Marina Eskina
Marion Aubert
Marjolein Bierens
Mark Anthony Cayanan
Marosa di Giorgio
Martina Bastos
Mary Gaitskill
Mary Jo Bang
Masahiko Fujiwara
Masataka Matsuda
Massimo Gezzi
Mathilde Walter Clark
Maureen N. McLane
Max Lichtenstein
Maxim Amelin
Mayhill Fowler
Mehmet Erte
Mehmet Erte
Melanie Taylor Herrera
Melih Cevdet Anday
Mercè Rodoreda
Michael Bazzett
Michael Farrell
Michael Hofman
Michal Pawel Markowski
Mieczysław Jastrun
Mihail Gălăţanu
Miklós Szentkuthy
Miljenko Jergović
Mircea Cărtărescu
Mircea Dinescu
Mircea Ivănescu
Mohamed Kacimi
Mohammed Bennis
Mohammed Said Abdulla
Moikom Zeqo
Molly Gaudry
Mona Gainer-Salim
Monika Gaenssbauer
Monika Rinck
Mui Poopoksakul
Murathan Mungan
Musan Cho Oh-hyun
Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi
Mustafa Khalifa
Nadia Anjuman
Nadifa Mohamed
Nairi Hakhverdi
Naja Marie Aidt
Nansŏrhŏn Hŏ
Naoki Higashida
Natalia Toledo
Natalya Din-Kariuki
Nathalie Quintane
Nathanaël
Nguyễn Quốc Chánh
Nicolae Coande
Nicolas Pesquès
Niek Miedema
Niels Hav
Nikolai Khalezin
Noé Morales Muñoz
Nona Fernández
Norah Lange
Nuno Ramos
Ofelia Prodan
Omar Pérez
Osip Mandelstam
Osip Mandelstam
Ouyang Jianghe
Pablo Martín Ruiz
Paol Keineg
Patigul
Paulo Scott
Paulo Scott
Péter Esterházy
Péter Nádas
Peca Ştefan
Pere Calders
Pere Gimferrer
Philip Sorenson
Philipp Schönthaler
Philippe Delerm
Pierluigi Cappello
Pierre Peuchmaurd
Piyush Daiya
Prabda Yoon
Praveen Krishna
Propertius
Pura López-Colomé
Qian Zhongshu
Quah Sy Ren
Quim Monzó
Raúl Zurita
Rachel Shihor
Rachida Madani
Radu Vancu
Rainer J. Hanshe
Ramón Griffero
Ramo Nakajima
Raphaël Confiant
Rashid Jahan
Reif Larsen
Reina María Rodríguez
Robert Chandler
Robert Walser
Roberto Bolaño
Rodolfo Walsh
Rogério Zola Santiago
Rosa Rankin-Gee
Roselyne Sibille
Ruth Padel
Ryan Collins
S.J. Naudé
Sa‘dallah Wannous
Sabrina Huang
Sagawa Chika
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Keryna
Sarah Khan
Sayuri Okamoto
Sándor Kányádi
Sébastien Joanniez
Sébastien Smirou
Semezdin Mehmedinović
Sergio Chejfec
Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai
Shakespeare, Marx and Freud
Shen Congwen
Shi Tiesheng
Shrikant Verma
Shushanik Kurghinian
Shuzo Takiguchi
Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Sigurbjörg Thrastardóttir
Silke Scheuermann
Simonides of Keos
Siobhán Campbell
Soren Gauger
Soumitra Mohan
Stanislaw Borokowski
Stéphane Mallarmé
Stefan Bolea
Stefan Zweig
Steven Grieco
Sun Dong
Sun Yisheng
Suzanne Doppelt
Sylvia Geist
Sylvie Kandé
Szilárd Borbély
Tagreid Hassabo
Taher Najib
Takahashi Mutsuo
Tan Chee Lay
Tan Ing How
Tanja Šljivar
Tóroddur Poulsen
Tedi López Mills
Tereza Riedlbauchová
Theis Ørntoft
Thomas Bernhard
Timur Kibirov
Todd Hasak-Lowy
Toh EnJoe
Tom Whalen
Tomaž Šalamun
Torgny Lindgren
Toshiki Okada
Tracy Letts
Uljana Wolf
Ulrike Almut Sandig
Ulrike Draesner
Ulrike Syha
V. Leac
Valentine Goby
Valerie Mejer
Vallabhācārya
Various Burmese Poets
Various Tamil Poets
Various writers commissioned by Unitas Magazine
Various writers commissioned by Unitas Magazine
Various writers commissioned by Unitas Magazine
Various writers commissioned by Unitas Magazine
Vasily Grossman
Víctor Rodríguez Núñez
Vica Miller
Viktor Shklovsky
Violette Leduc
Vladimir Mayakovsky
Vladimir Vertlib
Vsevolod Nekrasov
Vyomesh Shukla
Walter Siti
Waly Salomão
Wanda Coleman
Wang Anyi
Wang Xiaoni
Warren Motte
Werner Lutz
Will McGrath
Wilma Stockenström
Wolfgang Kubin
Wong Leung-wo
Wu He
Wu Ming-Yi
Xi Chuan
Xiao Yuan
Yang Mu
Yang Zi
Yardenne Greenspan
Yasen Vasilev
Yasmina Khadra
Ye Mimi
Yeng Pway Ngon
Yi Lu
Yoko Tawada
Yoram Kaniuk
Yosano Akiko
Yoshimichi Nakajima
Yousef el Qedra
Yu Xuanji
Yván Yauri
Yvette Bíró
Zachary Karabashliev
Zhang Wenhuan
Zhang Yueran
Zhou Sivan
Zsófia Bán
Translators
"And Other Stories Chinese Reading Group" members
"And Other Stories Chinese Reading Group" members
"And Other Stories Chinese Reading Group" members
"And Other Stories Chinese Reading Group" members
A. James Arnold
Aamer Hussein
Abbas Karakaya
Adam J. Sorkin
Adam Versényi
Adria Bernardi
Adrian West
Adrian West
Aftab Ahmad
Agata A. Lisiak
Ainsley Morse
Alba Tomàs Albina
Alex Cigale
Alex V. Gubbins
Alexander Booth
Alexander Dickow
Alexis Pernsteiner
Alice McAdams
Alice Xin Liu
Alina-Olimpia Miron
Alireza Taheri Araghi
Alison Anderson
Alistair Noon
Alketa Halilaj
Amelia Parenteau
Ana Maria Guay
Andrew Zawacki
Andy Bragen
Angela Rodel
Ann Cefola
Anne O. Fisher
Annie McDermott
Annmarie Drury
Anthony Berris
Anthony Milosz
Antoine Bargel
Antony Shugaar
Arthur Sze
Arunava Sinha
Atar Hadari
Austin Woerner
Ava Koohbor
Avgi Daferera
Aya Ogawa
Barbara Wright
Beatrice Smigasiewicz
Beatriz Bastos
Becky Crook
Bela Shayevich
Benjamin Paloff
Bernadette Geyer
Bojana Gajski
Bradley L. Garrett
Bradley Schmidt
Breyten Breytenbach
Brian Henry
Brother Anthony of Taizé
Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton
Buğra Giritlioğlu
Carole Smith
Casiana Ionita
Catherine Hales
Chantal Bilodeau
Chantal Bilodeau
Charlie Ng Chak-Kwan
Charlotte Mandell
Cheng Wen-chi
Chi Xu
Choi Don Mee
Chris Michalski
Christian Hawkey
Christian Nagle
Christina E. Kramer
Christina Vega-Westhoff
Christine Buckley
Christopher Crocker
Christopher G. Rea
Christopher Mattison
Clare Sullivan
Claudia Serea
Clayton Eshleman
Cole Swensen
Colie Hoffman
Colin Robertson
Cordelia Brodsky
Corinne Noirot
Cory Tamler
Cynthia Hogue
Damiano Abeni
Dana Khromov
Daniel Borzutzky
Daniel Brunet
Daniel Hahn
Daniel Jáquez
Daniella Gitlin
Darryl Sterk
Darryl Sterk
Dave Haysom
David Bellos
David Burnett
David Gibbons
David Mitchell
David Stromberg
Denisa Comănescu
Derek Mong
Diana Arterian
Dimitri Psurtsev
Dirk Winterbach
Dominic Siracusa
Donald Wellman
Douglas Langworthy
Douglas Robinson
Dylan Suher
Dzvinia Orlowsky
E.C. Belli
Edward Morin
Efe Murad
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Eleanor Goodman
Elias Simpson
Elisa Biagini
Elisabeth Jaquette
Eliza Vitri Handayani
Elizabeth Chandler
Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Elizabeth Fisherkeller
Elizabeth Raible
Ellen Elias-Bursac
Ellen Jones
Ellen Sprague
Elliott Colla
Emily Toder
Emily Wilson
Emily Yaewon Lee
Emma Ramadan
Eric M. B. Becker
Erica Mena
Erik Butler
Erika Sigvardsdotter
Ervin Felić
Eun Joo Kim
Ezra Pound
Fahmida Riaz
Faith Jones
Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Florin Bican
Forrest Gander
Fran Martin
Francis Li Zhuoxiong
Frank Williams
Freke Räihä
Gabi Eftimie
George Economou
George Gömöri
Gili Haimovich
Gonzalo Melchor
Gopal Gandhi
Gwee Li Sui
Hai-Dang Phan
Harry Leeds
Hải Ngọc
Heather Spears
Hedy Bok
Heidi Wong Pui-Yi and Louise Law Lok-Man
Heinz Insu Fenkl
Henry Walters
Hiraoki Sato
Howard Goldblatt
Husam Qaisi
Ian Haight
Ian Singleton
Ingrid Winterbach
Isabel Fargo Cole
Itxaso Rodríguez-Ordóñez
Ivan Sanders
J. Kates
J. M. Coetzee
J. T. Lichtenstein
Jack J. Huynh
Jacquelyn Pope
Jake Levine
James Byrne
Jamie McKendrick
Jamie Olson
Jane Yager
Janet Lloyd
Jay Rubin
Jeanine Marie Pitas
Jeff Friedman
Jeffrey Angles
Jenna Le
Jennifer Croft
Jennifer Hayashida
Jennifer Kronovet
Jeremy Tiang
Jeremy Tiang
Jim Tucker
Jim Weldon
Jiyoon Lee
Joan Proost
Joanna Chen
Joanne Turnbull
John Batki
John Freedman
John J. Hanlon
John Oliver Simon
John Pluecker
John Smelcer
John Taylor
John Washington
Jose Edmundo Ocampo Reyes
Jose Perez Beduya
Joseph Mulligan
Josh Stenberg
Joshua Daniel Edwin
Joshua Sperling
Judith Sollosy
Judith Sollosy
Julia Leverone
Julia Sanches
Julia Sherwood
Julia Sherwood
Jung Hi-Yeon
K.A. Yoshida
K.E. Semmel
Karen Van Dyck
Karthika Naïr
Katherine M. Hedeen
Katherine Silver
Katherine Silver
Katrine Øgaard Jensen
Katy Derbyshire
Kelly Morse
Kevin Brown
Kimberly Jannarone
ko ko thett
Krista Brune
Kristin Dykstra
Kyoko Yoshida
Kyoko Yoshida
Laura Jane Wey
Lawrence Venuti
Lee Sang-Wha
Lee Yew Leong
Leonard Ng
Lidia Vianu
Lindy Falk van Rooyen
Lisa Rose Bradford
Lloyd Schwartz
Loredana Mihani
Lucas Klein
Lucy Renner Jones
Lydia Davis
M. Pfaff
Maja Teref
Mani Rao
Manuel Fihman
Marc Gaba
Marc Vincenz