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Hilarious and horrifying, Yuri Herrera’s The Transmigration of Bodies is a gritty, feverish novella, written in dazzling prose that is both bawdy and poetic. A plague has brought death to the city. Two feuding crime families with blood on their hands need our hard-boiled hero, The Redeemer, to broker peace. Both his instincts and the vacant streets warn him to stay indoors, but The Redeemer ventures out into the city’s underbelly to arrange for the exchange of the bodies they hold hostage. Lust and crime and a lack of condoms all feature in this brilliant novella about living in a city filled with the dead, and where no one can distinguish between the guilty and the innocent.
A response to the violence of contemporary Mexico, with echoes of Romeo and Juliet, Roberto Bolaño and Raymond Chandler, The Transmigration of Bodies is a noir tragedy and a tribute to those bodies—loved, sanctified and defiled—that violent crime has touched.
Signs Preceding the End of the World is a masterpiece, haunting and arresting, spare and poetic, a condensed epic about immigration. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back.
Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages—one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.
Yuri Herrera was born in Actopan, Mexico, in 1970. He studied politics in Mexico, creative writing in El Paso and took his PhD in literature at Berkeley. His first novel to appear in English, Signs Preceding the End of the World, was published to critical acclaim in 2015 and included in many Best-of-Year lists. He is currently teaching at the University of Tulane, in New Orleans.
‘Mexico’s Yuri Herrera is a rare thing: a writer to get truly excited about…It is writing that is simultaneously concise and epic, dynamically plotted and intelligent, aware of literary heritage and stunningly original…This is stunning writing that demands and deserves attention.’ Saturday Paper
‘[The Transmigration of Bodies] captures the feel of the post-epidemic world with consummate ease: the paranoia and desperation are almost palpable.’ BookMooch
‘Herrera knows what he is talking about and says it as it is, with power and without restraint.’ Otago Daily Times
‘There’s a weight to Herrera’s concise prose, more to extrapolate from his simple sentences than a first glance might imply. These two novellas are stunningly original pieces of work from a writer to watch.’ Simon McDonald
‘A splendid and magnificent read…The language is an absolute tribute to the translator.’ Radio New Zealand
‘Herrera’s novella becomes a micro-epic, at once clear and ambiguous, transcultural, localised but applicable to countless sagas of migration across the globe. In scarcely more than one hundred pages, it encapsulates a story that is much bigger than itself.
In the curious, hyperreal, feverishly serious world of childhood, Marina and the girls play games of desire and warfare. The daily rituals of playtime, lunchtime and bedtime are charged with a horror; horror is licked by the dark flames of love. When Marina introduces the girls to Marina the Doll, she sets in motion a chain of events from which there can be no release.
With shades of Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro and Mariana Enríquez, Such Small Hands is a beautifully controlled tour-de-force, a bedtime story to keep readers awake.
2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS TRANSLATED LITERATURE FINALIST
In Colombia’s brutal jungle, childless Damaris develops an intense and ultimately doomed relationship with an orphaned puppy.
“The magic of this sparse novel is its ability to talk about many things, all of them important, while seemingly talking about something else entirely. What are those things? Violence, loneliness, resilience, cruelty. Quintana works wonders with her disillusioned, no-nonsense, powerful prose.” Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling
“The Bitch is a novel of true violence. Artist that she is, Pilar Quintana uncovers wounds we didn’t know we had, shows us their beauty, and then throws a handful of salt into them.” Yuri Herrera, author of Signs Preceding the End of the World
Colombia’s Pacific coast, where everyday life entails warding off the brutal forces of nature. In this constant struggle, nothing is taken for granted. Damaris lives with her fisherman husband in a shack on a bluff overlooking the sea. Childless and at that age “when women dry up,” as her uncle puts it, she is eager to adopt an orphaned puppy. But this act may bring more than just affection into her home. The Bitch is written in a prose as terse as the villagers, with storms―both meteorological and emotional―lurking around each corner. Beauty and dread live side by side in this poignant exploration of the many meanings of motherhood and love.
On March 10, 1920, in Pachuca, Mexico, the Compañía de Santa Gertrudis — the largest employer in the region, and a subsidiary of the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company — may have committed murder.
The alert was first raised at six in the morning: a fire was tearing through the El Bordo mine. After a brief evacuation, the mouths of the shafts were sealed. Company representatives hastened to assert that “no more than ten” men remained inside the mineshafts, and that all ten were most certainly dead. Yet when the mine was opened six days later, the death toll was not ten, but eighty-seven. And there were seven survivors.
A century later, acclaimed novelist Yuri Herrera has reconstructed a workers’ tragedy at once globally resonant and deeply personal: Pachuca is his hometown. His work is an act of restitution for the victims and their families, bringing his full force of evocation to bear on the injustices that suffocated this horrific event into silence.
‘Yuri Herrera has been described as Mexico’s greatest living novelist…Believe the hype.’ Readings
In the court of the King, everyone knows their place. But as the Artist wins hearts and egos with his ballads, uncomfortable truths emerge that shake the Kingdom to its core.
Part surreal fable and part crime romance, Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera questions the price of keeping your integrity in a world ruled by patronage and power.
Described as ‘Mexico’s greatest novelist’, Yuri Herrera has followed up The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World with an extraordinary story about passion and violence, about the vital role of the Artist in our society, and about the strangeness of our world.
Born in Actopan, Mexico, in 1970, Yuri Herrera studied Politics in Mexico, Creative Writing in El Paso and took his PhD in literature at Berkeley. His first novel to appear in English, Signs Preceding the End of the World, was published to critical acclaim in 2015 and included in many Best-of-Year lists, as did his second novel, The Transmigration of Bodies, in 2016. He is currently teaching at the University of Tulane in New Orleans.
‘Herrera creates a radically new language and condenses into a few pages what other authors need hundreds to convey…a surprising literary jewel’ Nation
‘Mexico’s Yuri Herrera is a rare thing: a writer to get truly excited about…It is writing that is simultaneously concise and epic, dynamically plotted and intelligent, aware of literary heritage and stunningly original…This is writing that demands and deserves attention.’ Saturday Paper on The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World
‘Yuri Herrera is Mexico’s greatest novelist. His spare, poetic narratives and incomparable prose read like epics compacted into a single perfect punch—they ring your bell, your being, your soul.’ Francisco Goldman on The Transmigration of Bodies
‘Yuri Herrera must be a thousand years old. He must have travelled to hell, and heaven, and back again. He must have once been a girl, an animal, a rock, a boy, and a woman. Nothing else explains the vastness of his understanding.’ Valeria Luiselli
"Readers will find themselves hoping for more of this bold writer’s work."—Publishers Weekly
Cat sitter, insomniac, former schoolteacher. Ania worries she is a “stand-in occupant,” a substitute in her own life. When she receives a request from her father to visit her dying uncle Agustín in Argentina, she makes the long journey across the Andes from Chile to Campana, where her family immigrated from Italy. Her trip, one she used to make every summer with her father, will be an escape from the present and a journey to the borders of memory.
What follows is an ambitious portrait of alienation and belonging, and of two families and countries separated by a range of mountains. Threaded together with encyclopedia entries, pages from an old immigrant manual, typing class exercises, passages from children’s books, half-faded photos, and letters mailed between continents, The Touch System introduces Alejandra Costamagna as one of the most powerful and subtle writers in contemporary Latin American literature.
Kirkus Best Books of 2018
"Barba is a master of the novella . . . A gorgeous, fully realized collection."—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
Nothing is simple for the men and women in Andrés Barba's stories. As they go about their lives, they are each tested by a single, destructive obsession. A runner puts his marriage at risk while training for a marathon; a teenager can no longer stand the sight of meat following her parents' divorce; a man suddenly fixates on the age difference between him and his younger male lover. In four tightly wound novellas, Andrés Barba establishes himself as a master of the form.
Andrés Barba is the one the most lauded contemporary Spanish writers. He is the author of twelve books, including August, October and Rain Over Madrid. In addition to literary fiction, he has written essays, poems, books of photography, and translations of Thomas De Quincey and Herman Melville. His books have been translated into ten languages.
Lisa Dillman won the 2016 Best Translated Book Award for her translation of Yuri Herrera's Signs Preceding the End of the World. She translates from Spanish and Catalan and teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University.
"Rain Over Madrid" is comprised by four novellas—“Fatherhood,” “Guile,” “Fidelity,” and “Shopping”—with a common leitmotiv: all of a sudden, someone is finally able to comprehend somebody else’s life. By featuring totally divergent characters in different settings, Barba in these stories tackles issues such as death, the inability to communicate feelings, the sudden eruption of love, fascination for the other, the architecture of desire and the fear of happiness.
“Andrés Barba needs no introduction. He has his own intentional world perfectly contained and a literary gift that belies his age.” Mario Vargas Llosa
“Barba has perfectly understood the aggressiveness that sometimes defines our romantic encounters and his precise prose provides the perfect vehicle to express it.” Times Literary Supplement
“A new Spanish great, that’s all I need to say.” Lire
In 1930s Spain, in an isolated valley of the Pyrenees, an aging teacher reconstructs a bloody and tragic event that seemed destined to remain forever hidden behind a wall of silence. He alone can penetrate appearances and grasp the iron laws determining the lives of all those who live in this place—this valley where nature is miserly and leaves little room for poetic contemplation or an excess of feelings. He alone remembers his protégé, Ramón, a shepherd, who, no more than a child, fell in love with Alba, the only daughter of the region’s most powerful and influential landowner.
The rich and powerful conspire to thwart the love between Ramón and Alba, and in doing so they incite a feud that will extend beyond all reason. Thus begins a vigorous, dramatic story of rebellion and a heroic quest for freedom that “offers both passionate, romantic derring-do and a vivid picture of class-driven mob hysteria” (The Wall Street Journal).
“A story that is sweeping in its narrative and evocative in its detail . . . The sort of romance to stir the coldest of hearts.” —The Irish Times
A rich dandy narrates Pot Pourri, relating a story of marriage and adultery during the carnival celebrations. The volume editor, Josefina Ludmer, describes the dandy as an ambiguous protagonist who acts both as a reflection and a critic of the liberal state. As a new addition to the already-acclaimed Library of Latin America, Pot Pourri should find its rightful place with the ever-growing audience for Latin American literature.