Posted by: Lisa Hill | January 2, 2017

Change Is the Only Constant: Writing from Macedonia by Will Firth (with thanks to Words without Borders)

Will Firth 2010If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you might remember a guest post by Australian translator Will Firth who works these days in Europe.  Multilingual, he has an impressive list of publications in Macedonian, Serbo-Croat and Russian.  His post for this blog was called ‘The Perils of Translation’ and it came about because I had read A Handful of Sand by Marinko Koscel which Will had translated and we had got into conversation behind the scenes.

Well, Will has just published a most interesting post about the state of Macedonian literature, at Words Without Borders.  Words without Borders is one of the most interesting sites I subscribe to, because they provide background information about translated fiction from all over the world, and especially from places that we tend not to hear so much about.  They also provide stories that you can read for free, stories that you are unlikely to find anywhere else.  For example, I have read some stunning works by women behind the veil, for whom WBB provides a safe place to publish, and (as you’ll know if you follow the ANZ LitLovers Facebook page), I spent some happy hours over this Christmas break reading articles from their 2016 Wrap up.   (Who cares if Christmas TV is banal if you’ve got lots of good stuff to read on the web, eh?)

Will’s article, Change Is the Only Constant: Writing from Macedonia  tells us about the challenges facing Macedonian writers, and then there are links to fiction pieces that he recommends:

  •  “Nectar” by Rumena Bužarovska (1981), a story from her third and latest collection of short stories, My Husband (Mojot maž), published in 2014;
  • “Fog” and “Fire” by Nenad Joldeski (1986), one of the winners of the 2016 European Union Prize for Literature;
  • an extract from the novel The Lighter (Zapalka) by Natali Spasova (1989). Spasova is a relative newcomer and one of the few female voices in Macedonia’s male-dominated literary scene; and
  • “The Bird on the Balcony” by Petre Dimovski (1946) from his latest book of short stories entitled Dawn in the Painting (Zora vo slikata), 2015

So, if you’re like me and you’ve never read any Macedonian literature, now’s your chance!

Thanks, Will!


  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I’m going to check out this site :-)


    • The name says it all, really… happy reading!


  2. […] Change Is the Only Constant: Writing from Macedonia by Will Firth (with thanks to Words without Borders) […]


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