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Palabras Errantes Latin American Literature in Translation

Palabras Errantes
II. downcast eyes and a crooked glance
II. downcast eyes and a crooked glance

Extract from Inflamadas de retórica: escrituras promiscuas para una tecno­decolonialidad (Editorial Desbordes, 2016) By Jorge Díaz and Johan Mijail. Translated by Shahid Wahab. español   Les yeux sont encore capables de pousser un cri René Cher   A CROOKED EYE We grow up cross-eyed, with a crooked, squinty, queer eye that finds it hard to focus and […]

La débil mental (extract)
La débil mental (extract)

By Ariana Harwicz. Translated by Sarah Moses. español Here we are in the guest room, it’s large, stripped bare. The faint sound of swarms of flies and bluebottles, of different birds with beaks long as horns, the noise of the songs of some over others. Mum smooths out her ash-blond hair, in bed, gently. Her […]

Summer animal
Summer animal

By Lola Arias. Translated by Catriona McAllister. español My legs have gone to sleep from sitting in the same position for hours. My mother says I’m like a rabbit when I’m in a bad mood, but she’s like a naked cow when she plucks her eyebrows in the bathroom mirror. She thinks it’s healthy for […]

Rice
Rice

By Alejandra Kamiya. Translated by Kymm Coveney. español Today is Thursday and on Thursdays we have lunch together. We talk a lot, or what for us is a lot. Neither of us is the kind of person anyone would call a conversationalist. Sometimes we eat in complete silence. A comfortable silence, as weightless as the […]

Journey to My Father’s Country
Journey to My Father's Country

By Natalia Brandi. Translated by Lindsey Ford. español The journey all started because of one of those things you say without thinking. “Can I come with you?” My dad lifted his eyes from his plate and looked at me. He wiped a little sauce from his mouth with his napkin, a little more with his […]

An Orphan’s Freedom
An Orphan's Freedom

By Paula Varsavsky. Translated by Sarah Moses. español There’s a dream I used to have over and over again. My father was alive. I’d find him after eighteen years without seeing him. Dad wasn’t surprised or glad to see me. I felt he’d been avoiding me. The fact that we were together again seemed to […]

A Long River
A Long River

By Pía Bouzas. Translated by Andrea Shah. español If my father hadn’t had two daughters with my mother, he probably wouldn’t have gone to see her at the oncology clinic. He would have stayed at home, reading the paper. If it were a Sunday, he would have gotten ready to go to mass. Perhaps he would […]

Apparition
Apparition

By Vera Giaconi. Translated by Carolina Orloff and Fionn Petch. español She underwent one of those impossible tests where you can’t work out the connection between what they’re asking and what they want to know. Ana answered: a girl with a stolen plastic bracelet, to my mother, petrol, a forest seen from underneath, every day, […]

Run
Run

By Francisco Cascallares. Translated by Lucina Schell. español Two months ago, her father was local operations manager for a multinational corporation. Now, she and he were crossing the desert by car. Along the way she, the daughter, wondered how much longer the car would last after their savings ran out and they wouldn’t even be […]

Birth
Birth

By Camila Fabbri. Translated by Sarah Booker español 1. Every time someone talks to me, they cannot help but let their gaze linger over my corvina-shaped scar. Instantly, they ask about Pedro. 2. I met him when I was very young. We were in our early twenties. We chatted in a plaza beneath the sunbeams. […]

Yellow Submarines
Yellow Submarines

By Carolina Bruck. Translated by Ellen Jones español   For Violeta Catalina looked at her mother and the mother looked at her daughter. Had some disaster befallen Catalina too?                                                     […]

And who do I marry
And who do I marry

By Jacqueline Golbert. Translated by Lauren Fiszzon. español The story went something like that, but I don’t remember that much of it. ‘… don’t let me die, make me wake up with happiness…’ It was routine for my mum to run herself a bubble bath which filled the tub. I would perch on the toilet […]

Strawberries
Strawberries

By Valeria Tentoni. Translated by Dani Gisselbeck. español I was an only child still. They put me in a playpen padded along the edges with brightly colored fabric. I entertained myself: sticking my fists into the plastic mesh, sometimes getting stuck, and crying a little. My whole world was in that little ring alone in the […]

Interrupted Plans
Interrupted Plans

By Aurora Venturini. Translated by Lucy Christmas. español “All it would take to hit new depths of solitude was to start playing with the thingamajigs of death”. A tale of loss. Included in Nosotros, los Caserta (Penguin Random House, 2011) I adopted Bertha and wore her on a silver chain around my neck like a locket. […]

Mom’s Birthday, 1991
Mom's Birthday, 1991

By Alejandra Zina. Translated by Frances Riddle. español Same as always. That’s what you thought. Same as always. Negra and José were your best friends. The only ones you let come over to the house. It wasn’t the first time your mom had invited them to her birthday. They’d come before. They didn’t mind. The […]

The Green Ray
The Green Ray

By Inés Garland. Translated by Natasha Tanna. español Dad and Ana, my best friend, reach Salinas at midday. Mum and I are shaking the sand off our feet when the car comes up the path by the side of the house and grinds to a halt, chewing up the lawn. “Careful with the hydrangeas!” says […]

Magritte and Rage
Magritte and Rage

By Cristina Zabalaga. Translated by Lois Baer Barr. español I am incapable of sleeping during the flight. I am furious. Just furious. So mad that nothing can distract me. Not the tight ass on the flight attendant who manages to graze against my hand every time she passes, not the stupid movies that have me […]

Griselda
Griselda

By Amparo Dávila. Translated by Sarah Booker español The blond girl paused for a few moments, hesitant, before the half-opened door, but she decided, finally, to enter. She could not resist the total abandonment of the garden. Due to the quantity of weeds that had invaded it, one could barely walk down the path that […]

The Devil and the Dominguez Family
The Devil and the Dominguez Family

By Mariana Enríquez. Translated by Ruth Clarke. español The bedroom door was open and Veronica went in. Her mum was still in bed, but she had her eyes open; she wasn’t asleep. A collection of glasses sat on the bedside table, some empty, some holding orange juice, water that had long since gone flat; tissues, […]

The Old Age of the Twins from The Shining
The Old Age of the Twins from The Shining

By Espido Freire. Translated by Fionn Petch. español These days we go out less: one or the other of us is always suffering from an overwhelming lethargy. We toss and turn before we get out of bed, then we calmly dress, approaching the mirror time and again to check our socks are properly pulled up […]

The Dragon
The Dragon

By Edmundo Paz Soldán. Translated by Christopher Schafenacker. español I woke up in Jaelle this morning. I was with Laurence, who was once again with the trembling. His arms jittered, he blinked uncontrollably, his cheeks twitched. The human being is a trembling thing, he said, when I asked him what was going on. The same […]

The Horoscope Says
The Horoscope Says

By Antonio Ortuño. Translated by Elsa Treviño. español My father isn’t well-liked in the neighbourhood. The police nose around the house on Mondays or Tuesdays and watch him drink beer in the tiny concrete square that once was a garden. The neighbours don’t have a fence to protect them, but we do. Perched on a […]

A Winter’s Night Is a House
A Winter's Night Is a House

By Cecilia Eudave. Translated by Amy Beardall. español For Almudena Mora My darkest fears were confirmed on entering the house: there was an ancient chill to that place which sent shivers down my spine and I had to hold onto one of the flaking walls for support. That place was massive, so very big yet […]

The Rocky Creek
The Rocky Creek

By Nico Saraintaris. Translated by Jeremy Osner. español Arroyo Pedregoso, the rocky creek, runs along about forty kilometers of the Patagonian plateau, letting out into the Río Limay, in Neuquén province. Around the widest portion of its flow lies a town which takes its name from the river that cuts across it; that’s where I […]

The Game
The Game

By Patricia Esteban Erlés. Translated by Megan Berkobien. español I’m still in trouble. I hear the stirring of their voices in the stairwell as I lean out my bedroom’s half-closed door. My mother is sobbing quietly; my father raises his voice while speaking of that Swiss hospital where Doctor Ocampo recommended committing me. I hear his […]

The Peephole
The Peephole

By Abdón Ubidia. Translated by Alan Williams. español The door was tall and dark. The wood was rough. The panels were rectangular, the colour aged artificially. And in the centre, the peephole: a tiny chrome-plated tube with a lens at one end: a tiny wide-angle lens, which took in part of the staircase and both […]

The Islands
The Islands

By Marina Perezagua. Translated by Lucy Greaves. español The kids had been determined to buy an inflatable on the way to the beach. They chose the biggest one, a yellow circle that had rocks and a crab in relief. In its centre was a palm tree, also inflatable, two metres tall with long plastic leaves. […]

The Vultures
The Vultures

By Rodolfo Santullo. Translated by Will Carne. español The white paint fell in thick, round droplets, so large that they gave a faint reflection of George’s face. He ran the paintbrush over the wall and eyed the results with dissatisfaction, noting that the drops of paint trickling down the wall were as many as the […]

Seventy – seven
Seventy - seven

By Francisco Ortega. Translated by Ricardo Segreda. español August, 1995. Independencia, Santiago de Chile. She knew every sound in the house: the sluggish groan of pipes throughout the night, that continuous tapping of the plum branches, the terrace beams that swell with changes in temperature, the window frame after being caught by the first light […]

Duplicates
Duplicates

By David Roas. Translated by Peter Davies. español Well, the universe is everything, and if it’s expanding, someday it will break apart, and that will be the end of everything. What has the universe got to do with it?  You’re here in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn is not expanding! WOODY ALLEN, ANNIE HALL   In 1937, the […]