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Working Titles

Welcome to the Massachusetts Review's Working Titles! Working Titles are e-publications of prose too long for our print pages. Working Titles will be published semi-annually.

Working Titles are now available on Weightless Books, a local, independent e-book distributor. You can also find all of our Working Titles may be purchased as Kindle Singles or Kobo.

Working Titles are made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Five Colleges, Inc., and the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, as well as private donors.

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Almost eighty years have passed since Jean Améry was taken by the gestapo and interrogated at Fort Breendonk in Antwerp, and yet the world today may not seem much different. In Emory Klann's new translation, Améry's experience and insight into the human condition under duress captures the horrors of the Nazi while also sculpting the process of perseverance and stoic strength. Torture is both a documentation of the act as witnessed by Améry, but also an accounting of the anguish and realizations of the mind in a physically and emotionally oppressed body.

"With its lines about how the tortured person irrevocably loses an elemental 'trust in the world,' and how easily torture effaces mental capacities that take years and great effort to build up, reducing people to masses of squealing flesh, Améry’s essay 'Torture' can read like a suicide note. And yet the precision of its language, brilliantly on display in Emory Klann’s new translation, has provided generations of readers with solace, even uplift."
—Paul Reitter, from the Introduction

Read an excerpt here, and purchase directly from Weightless Books, Amazon, and Kobo.

Essayist and philosopher Jean Améry was born as Hans Meier in Vienna on October 31, 1912. Despite his family’s Jewish origins, Améry was raised Roman Catholic by his mother after his father’s death in 1916. He studied literature and philosophy in Vienna during the time the Third Reich came to power in Germany. Although he felt lost between his Christian and Jewish identities, he knew he was strongly against Nazism and became an active member of the resistance against the Nazi occupation of Belgium.

In July of 1943, Améry was arrested for spreading anti-Nazi propaganda to German occupation forces in Belgium and taken to Fort Breendonk, where he was interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo for several days. Once they realized he was not a political prisoner but instead, a Jew, he was deported to the Buna-Monowitz labor camp, Auschwitz III. A year later, he was evacuated to Buchenwald and then transported to Bergen-Belsen. After being liberated in 1945, Améry settled in Belgium, where he wrote several renowned works, including: At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and Its Realities (1966), On Aging (1968), and On Suicide: A Discourse on Voluntary Death (1976). On October 17, 1978, Jean Améry tragically took his own life in a Salzburg hotel room.

Emory Klann is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in biology. Alongside her major coursework, she also completed minors in German and international studies, through which she took courses in translation.

Working Titles Currently Available

Working Title 1.3: Tomorrow We Never Did Talk About It

a story by Eduardo Halfon, translated by Anne McLean

Working Title 1.4: Emergency Exit

a story by Carissa Halston

Working Title 1.5: Strange Mercies

a story by Pete Duval

Working Title 1.6: Just Another Jihadi Jane

a novel excerpt by Tabish Khair

Working Title 1.7: Ambrosia

a story by Lee Upton

Working Title 2.2: Time Served

an essay by J. Malcolm Garcia

Working Title 2.3: The Leader

a story by Nouri Zarrugh

Working Title 3.1: Table for One

A story by Yun Ko Eun, translated by Lizzie Buehler

On the Quay at Smyrna (Working Title 3.2)

a novella by Margot Demopoulos

The Tombs of Guy Debord

An Essay by Jean-Marie Apostolidès, translated by Laure Katsaros and Rene Kooiker

Night Hands

Jen Cross

AMOUR: Fields of Battle, Fields of Love

Véronique Tadjo, translated by Carolyn Shread

Silence Like Blood

Marie-Célie Agnant, translated by Dawn Fulton

CAPE COD, REVISITED

Michael Thurston

Bird Girl

Avital Balwit

Torture

Jean Améry, translated by Emory Klann

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