Comma partner with English PEN to publish All Walls Collapse: Stories of Separation


English PEN and Comma Press
announce a new collaboration,

All Walls Collapse: Stories of Separation


English PEN and Comma Press are to publish All Walls Collapse: Stories of Separation, an anthology of short fiction in translation featuring specially commissioned work by 12 writers from 12 countries. The book, edited by English PEN’s Translation and International Manager, Will Forrester and Comma Press’s Publishing Manager, Sarah Cleave, features two writer-translators pairings longlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize – Geetanjali Shree and Daisy Rockwell, and Paulo Scott and Daniel Hahn – as well as award-winning names including Juan Pablo Villalobos, Kyung-Sook Shin, Krisztina Tóth and Constantia Soteriou.

The anthology marks 10 years of English PEN’s PEN Translates programme, which has helped bring 300 translated books – including 16 titles that have featured on International Booker Prize longlists, and 12 books by Comma Press – to UK readers and was developed as part of Common Currency, English PEN’s centenary celebrations in 2021.

Sarah Cleave said: “All Walls Collapse features newly commissioned short stories on the walls and fences that have sought to divide communities and nations, and their effects on people’s lives and histories. From the Berlin Wall and Rio’s ‘Wall of Shame’ to the barbed wire fences of Cox’s Bazar and the Xinjiang internment camps, this anthology brings together writing from across national and linguistic borders, and calls for all walls to come tumbling down.”


Will Forrester commented: “As ever-extending walls seek to divide and enclose, this collection looks to resist and unite. English PEN’s support for literature in translation has always extended from our belief that literature knows no frontiers, and must remain common currency among people; that acts of translation are radical and vital. These writers and translators inscribe walls, condemn them, pass through them, and reveal their gaps through extraordinarily varied stories, united in being poignant, exceptional literature.”

All Walls Collapse: Stories of Separation will be published on 2 June 2022, and is made possible through the support of Arts Council England.


Full list of contributors:


  • Juan Pablo Villalobos, tr. Rosalind Harvey on the Mexican–US border
  • Geetanjali Shree, tr. Daisy Rockwell on the India–Pakistan Line of Control
  • Hassan Blasim, tr. Jonathan Wright on Fortress Europe
  • Kyung-Sook Shin, tr. Anton Hur on the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
  • Paulo Scott, tr. Daniel Hahn on Rio de Janeiro’s favela “Wall of Shame”
  • Maya Abu Al-Hayat, tr. Yasmin Seale on the West Bank Separation Wall
  • Muyesser Abdul'ehed Hendan, tr. Munawwar Abdulla on the fences of Uyghur internment camps
  • Constantia Soteriou, tr. Lina Protopapa on Cyprus' Green Line
  • Krisztina Tóth, tr. Peter Sherwood on the Hungary border barrier
  • Zahra el Hasnaoui, tr. Dorothy Odartey-Wellington on the Western Sahara Wall
  • Rezuwan Khan, tr. Hla Hla Win on the fences of Cox's Bazar
  • Larissa Boehning, tr. Lyn Marven on the Berlin Wall