Posts Tagged: Latin American literature
It’s not like we can all launch a Kickstarter or write a book—there’ve been hundreds of books about the border, and we still have the same problem. So I get angry, and perhaps it’s less about my feeling that all this testimony is useless and more my way of raging against my own impotence toward the situations we’re living through.
Global Voices introduces us to El Hombrecito, a music group that interweaves Dominican poetry and visual art into their performances, in a story written by Natali Herrera Pacheco and translated by Eleanor Weekes. El Hombrecito hopes to spark interest in the country’s literature by setting it against the backdrop of bachata, rock, or experimental music, which brings literature to a much wider audience, and also separates Dominican literature from Western, democratized influences....more
This week at Recommended Reading, PEN America offers an excerpt from Brazilian author Noemi Jaffe’s novel Írisz: as orquídeas, which is remarkable for many reasons, one of them being that this is so far the only opportunity to read part of the Portuguese-language novel in English translation....more
While reviewing Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Aaron Bady considers the rise of Mexican literature post-Roberto Bolaño:
Roberto Bolaño’s popularity in English over the last decade or so has had a profound effect on publishers.
It’s a bear to try to get contemporary Cuban literature, especially by women.
To remedy the dearth of books written by female Cuban authors on American campuses, Sara Cooper, a professor of Spanish and multicultural and gender studies at Chico State University in California, decided she’d have to do it herself....more
The New Yorker has a retrospective on Carmen Balcells, a Spanish literary agent who brought writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Jorge Luis Borges to international fame. Balcells passed away last week at the age of 85....more
A must-read profile of Sesshu Foster, unofficial poet laureate of East Los Angeles, steadfast advocate of racial equity, eloquent witness to the changes of gentrification, full-time school teacher, and arguable embodiment of the vibrant tangle of roots that comprises modern Los Angelean culture:
In any other city, and in any neighborhood besides East L.A., it’s unlikely that a half-Japanese, half-Anglo poet would be so enmeshed in Chicano cultural production.
She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been alone with herself. Maybe never. It was always her–with others, and in these others she was reflected and the others were reflected in her. Nothing was–was pure, she thought without understanding what she meant.
We’ve noticed a new wave of love for Clarice Lispector recently, and so has Benjamin Anastas at The New Republic. With the new translation and release of a complete edition of her stories, Anastas outlines how Lispector has been given the “Bolaño treatment—and the global acclaim she has long deserved.”...more
Kiss me like this – slowly.
Your tongue, like a living flame,
feeds my burning dreams –
and after my heavy-hearted abandonment,
a clean breeze brightens
the jasmine in my bed.
Emily Paskevics, writing for Luna Luna Magazine, profiles Laura Victoria, the pseudonym of Colombian poet and diplomat Gertrudis Peñuela (1904-2004)....more
[Soccer] games on the radio are absolutely like literature—the metaphors, the pacing, the need for an evolving style. You can’t always say the same thing. The role of the play-by-play announcer seems much more interesting to me than that of the color commentator....more
For Electric Literature, Guatemalan author Eduardo Halfon recounts his unexpected turn to literature after returning to Guatemala in his early thirties, the paranoia and danger that accompanies being a writer amidst corruption, and leaving the country again after publishing his first novel:
I stumbled onto books, and then fell into writing.
Fear not if you don’t have any vacation plans this summer. Quartz has created a literary playlist of nine contemporary Latin American authors that will utterly transport you....more
On Monday, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction was awarded to Jack Livings for The Dog, a collection set in China in the last decades of the 20th century. What makes Livings’s stories remarkable isn’t just the tight prose and impressive research (he told the Wall Street Journal that he spent a year and a half reading oral histories from glassblowers and researching Mao Zedong’s embalming process for just one story), it’s that he managed to write about a foreign culture with nuance and depth and not mess it up....more
Sergio Pitol gets the profile treatment over at Lit Hub:
Sergio Pitol (1933) is all of the above; he is, I believe, a total writer. And by writer I do not mean one of those intellectuals who flirt with power (“The difference between who I am now and who I was then is defined by my passion for reading and my aversion for any manifestation of power,” he declares in The Art of Flight), nor a multipurpose lecturer: in Mexico we tend to laud with the uppercase W of “Writer” anyone who, in addition to publishing occasionally, anoints candidates in popular election.
In advance of the release of Mario Vargas Llosa’s new book The Time of the Hero, Thomas Mallon investigates the relationship between the Noble Prize-winning author’s work and the political movements of his native Peru. The article focuses on Llosa’s realist style during a time when more experimental Latin American authors were obtaining international prestige, and highlights the author’s presidential run in 1990, which put him on “the verge of becoming as famous an artist-politician as Václav Havel.”...more
After Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s passing last Thursday, the New Yorker opened its archives to those compelled to get their hands on something from the “voice of Latin America.” One of the more interesting pieces in the archive is “The Challenge,” in which Marquez recalls a forty-two day span during which his first two short stories were published....more
Gabriel Garcia Marquez died yesterday at home in Mexico City. 87 years since his birth in Aracataca, CO, “Gabo” Marquez has written over twenty novels and short story collections. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and may have been the most important Latin-American writer of the last century....more