Latin American Literature
Legacy and estrangement in Diego Zúñiga’s Camanchaca
I got on the bus and saw that my seat was at the end of the aisle, next to a very pretty blonde. Typical blonde girl’s freckles under her eyes. She was wearing a black sweater and blue velvet pants. Her seat was next to the window.
Staging historical justice in Hernán Ronsino’s Glaxo
Set in what translator Valerie Miles calls a “space of the imagination,” Edmundo Paz-Soldán’s new novel, Norte, uncovers its characters’ complicated relationships to expression and the trappings of readymade discourses. While some search for their norte, or direction, others are directionless and detached.
I’m a Swede. I want you to be aware of this from the start because this fact is responsible for the strangest episode of my life, which I want to tell you about now.
“Breaking away from magical realism ended up creating another stereotype: that of a generation obsessed with mass media, new technologies, and disdainful of politics.”
Carmen Boullosa’s novel Before begins with the kind of grand existential problem so difficult to disentangle from the problems of consciousness itself: “Where were we before we got to this point?”
The author’s first novel is set in Mexico City, but its themes of violence, grief, and solitude are truly global.
There are cities more present in the warp and weft of literature than others; that’s clear. The literary prestige of New York, Paris, or Mexico City is both undeniable and well-deserved: certain books, once read, transform forever the faces of those cities, superimposing a layer of fiction on their sidewalks and traffic signals.
“I feel ignored and doomed to anonymity, but free to do whatever I want within the sacred space of literature.”
“What can’t I be in São Paulo that I could become in New York?”
“A writer worried about reception is cooking a dead book. A writer’s job is to produce the best possible book in absolute freedom, so the category ‘acceptable’ does not play in the process at all.”
From the train I could look out onto the infinite blue of the sea. I was still exhausted, wakeful from the overnight transatlantic flight to Rome, but looking out at the sea, that Mediterranean sea that was so infinite and so blue, made me forget it all, even myself. I don’t know why.
So they invite you to Nueva York, all expenses paid, to participate in an event for Stonewall, twenty years after the police brawl starring the gay girls who, in 1964, took over a bar in the Village.
Our first lot is a piece in a somewhat deteriorated state. Yet, considering its antiquity, the overall condition is good; one might even say excellent.
César Aira’s first story collection to appear in the US follows the publication of ten short novels in nine years, all from New Directions.
The characters in Zambra’s stories and novels can’t help being impostors. Alarcón finds out why, on the occasion of the Chilean author’s recently published short-story collection, My Documents.
This article is only available in print.