Do You Buy English-Language Rights? Words Without Borders Suggests Zeina Abirached

Words Without Borders, along with translating excellent literature into English and presenting it free online, also puts out a quarterly tip sheet about WWB writers who they believe “can be successfully published in an English-language market.”

This quarter’s tip sheet, which is apparently their second, recommends Lebanese graphic novelist Zeina Abirached’s , A Game for Swallows, her third book. It was apparently published as Mourir, Partir, Revenir—Le Jeu des Hirondelles (that’s French, obviously, not Arabic; although Arabic weaves into the drawings) in 2007.

The graphic novel, which has been excerpted on the WWB site, recounts Abirached’s experiences as a child during Beirut’s civil war. The drawings are stark and beautiful, as you can see for yourself.

Spanish, Greek, Swedish, Korean, Italian, and Dutch rights have already been snapped up. What are you waiting for?


  1. I sure thought it would make a good candidate and the drawings were interesting and had a good visual sense. Although, anyone with black and white line drawings may get compared to Satrapi. Not a bad thing, just typical in marketing.

  2. I’m sure anyone from “our scary region” will be marketed as Satrapi Jr. So it goes.

Comments are closed.