From Åland to Zagreb
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Sailia Susiluoto of Finland
Diarmuid Johnson
The present special sample issue of Transcript is a portal to the fifteen issues Literature Across Frontiers has produced on a bi-monthly basis since late 2002. In it we present a cross-section of the work of the hundred and fifty or so writers from over twenty five countries - Baltic and Scandinavian, Celtic and Mediterranean, eastern and central European - which we have featured to date.

In Transcript 2, we visit Grafarvogur, a suburb of Reykjavik, Iceland. Transcript 3 is dedicated to Catalan literature, and features several of the most influential names in contemporary Catalan literature. In Transcript 4 we make our way to the Åland archipelago, halfway between Sweden and Finland. Maltese literature in the 20th century, a major theme in Transcript 5, was marked by the individual genius of a handful of writers, of whom we feature Francis Ebejer, Oliver Friggieri and Immanuel Mifsud.

The adventures of Paulie the Spider (Pavel Srut, illustrated by Galina Miklínová, Albatros, Prague, 2001) whose restless nature gets him into all sorts of trouble, has been a roaring success in the Czech Republic. And The Tale of the Little Fish (Petr Nikl, illustrated by the author, Meander, Prague, 2001), a gentle story about an inhabitant of the sea, is a study in harmony, order and chaos. Read about these, and many other Czech-language books, for both children and adults, in Transcript 6.

In its seventh issue, Transcript introduces seven Romanian poets. The Romanian exile community is represented in our pages by Sanda Stolojan and Rodica Iulian, while Ana Blandiana and Florenta Albu inform us of life in Romania in recent decades when, from 1948 until 1989, the country was governed by a particularly oppressive totalitarian regime.

Transcript 8 visits two regions in France, Brittany and Northern Catalonia, where writers continue to work in their native idiom. We introduce Northern Catalonia's Patrick Gifreu and Jordi Pere Cerdà, and ask four other Catalonian writers in France how the linguistic reality influences their work. Also in this issue, read a short history of modern Breton literature, and work by Angela Duval and Jakez Riou.

Use our search machine (above), or visit our archive (back issues) to journey into the world of Gaelic literature (Transcript 9/10), and of modern Croatian poetry (Transcript 13). Forthcoming issues of Transcript focus on Finland and Wales. We hope our readers will continue to accompany us in our exploration of excellent writing in smaller - though not lesser - European languages.

Read Voices of Romania in Transcript.

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