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Palabras Errantes Latin American Literature in Translation

Palabras Errantes
Griselda
Griselda

By Amparo Dávila. Translated by Sarah Booker   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 […]

The Reading
The Reading

By Ariel Idez. Translated by Annie McDermott. español   Mad.  You’re all mad.  Did you know that?  Totally and utterly insane.  Hello – yes, I’m talking to you, every single one of you packed into this secret room. You’re mad, all of you.  Not me.  I’m not mad and I’m going to prove it. You […]

Man in the Mirror
Man in the Mirror

By Alexis Iparraguirre. Translated by Gabriel T. Saxton-Ruiz. español To Marco García Falcón   Monica wakes up late, after midday. She sits on the bed, kicks off the sheets with her sockless foot and yawns. The room smells of aged wood and coats that had been stored in the closetwith mothballs. She looks at herself […]

Pure Fiction Days
Pure Fiction Days

By Jorge Enrique Lage. Translated by George Henson. español Nothing touches her, except the air, but ever since I first saw her everything is about her. I can turn her into a description of long, blonde hair, faraway lips (the best lipstick, far lips, the commercial said), eyes I’ve not seen and a body whose […]

Good People
Good People

By Alberto Chimal. Translated by Slava Faybysh. español “People won’t be people when they hear this sound.” Battles, Atlas   The boxes arrived from Juarez at nine at night. They were shipped by land, which is always a bit worrisome because the violence there, in the North, is truly out of control—it causes problems on […]

Aerial Plants
Aerial Plants

By Pilar Adón. Translated by Lawrence Schimel. español Mrs. Milne hasn’t stopped limping and coughing since her difficult tumble down the stairs that took place two months back already. She insists on accusing the oldest residents. She even imagines one of them as the obvious culprit, because of giggles, winks, and a fascination in seeing […]

The Well
The Well

By Santiago Roncagliolo. Translated by Charlotte Coombe. español ‘You have to see it before you leave,’ said Wordsworth. ‘It’s certainly something not to be missed… That’s if you dare, of course.’ It was the early hours of the morning, the time when Wordsworth usually became pretty self-important; the time when it was just us bachelors […]

Smiles
Smiles

Written by Jorge Luis Cáceres. Translated by Paul Merchant. español David Trepaud cast a final glance over his diary, where he regularly noted down appointments with his patients, as he liked to term the clients who visited his office in the Alhambra building, on República del Salvador Avenue. He did this lying down on the […]

Editor’s Note – Derry Welcomes You
Editor’s Note – Derry Welcomes You

Written by Jorge Luis Cáceres. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. Hotel Dolphin, October 2015 My first encounter with the work of Stephen King was in the now defunct bookshop Studium, on 10 de agosto Avenue in Quito. When I was a kid, my Dad had a habit of taking me to the bookshop at the end […]

A House with Ten Pines
A House with Ten Pines

By Fabián Casas. Translated by Alan Williams. For Quique Fogwill Ever since I started to be published, people ask me: ‘Is this autobiographical?’ Or: ‘The main character, that’s you, right?’ So I’m going to start off by saying that everything that follows is absolutely true. It happened exactly as I’m going to tell it. That […]

Dance for Oblivion/Danza para el olvido (selection)
Dance for Oblivion/Danza para el olvido (selection)

By Melissa Ghezzi. Translated by Christopher Schafenacker. TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: In Dance for Oblivion Melissa Ghezzi assumes the voice of a poet who enters a women’s prison to teach poetry workshops and subsequently develops a romance with one of the prisoners. The Spanish original communicates the same-sex nature of this bond in subtle ways that cannot […]

Mariquita Sánchez
Mariquita Sánchez

By Paula Jiménez España. Translated by Jeremy Osner. Sargento: […] a toast to anonymous revolutions; in them does liberty flower! –Juan B. Alberdi   I was expecting Vicente at five, but it was four in the afternoon when the bell rang. I asked the maid to see who it was; to deal as quickly as possible […]

My Neighbour without Men
My Neighbour without Men

By Dinapiera Di Donato. Translated by Fionn Petch.   a fence made of cactus marked the home of the sting ray’s harpoon her black veils rippled no one talks to her not the breeze, not the dried-up well the girls from Madeira sell lace from a white bundle they feel like pigeons beneath her gaze avoid […]

MOUTH WIDE OPEN
MOUTH WIDE OPEN

By Odette Alonso. Translated by Peter W Davies. “Does it hurt?” As I can’t answer, I shake my head from side to side.  It seems like a test from God: before, the persistence of the drill caused me to suffer terrible nightmares; now her hands are holding one and her fingers are caressing my gums, building […]

6 Muriel 6: Acrostics
6 Muriel 6: Acrostics

By Ana Nuño. Translated by Lawrence Schimel.   More free than you of not growing confused under the luminous foliage of that garden of berries, risking her amorous past to the whims of fate; innocent, you claim, as she watches without ever touching and you find yourself opening like an inverted blossom.   Mendacious with […]

Lesbian Sestina
Lesbian Sestina

By Ana Nuño. Translated by Lawrence Schimel.   Tactical, but allowing for disorder. Words made to the measure of rejection, the body, all of their bodies, dressed for day even at night, always ready but as if on the margin: superior, unnoticed, alone.   The precise image, by itself, alone, raises a polemic about the […]

Love
Love

By Mariana Docampo. Translated  by Carolina Orloff.   Love She loves the contour. But only at the precise moment. The three days before and the three days following the initiation. She loves the fingers raised. The toenails slightly uneven, the varnish messed up. The hairs on the legs. It lasts only three days. Like an […]

The Divided Sky
The Divided Sky

By Reina Roffé. Translated by Roanne Kantor. FRAGMENTS 1. In the café where Donna, after the conference in the Cultural Centre, would reveal her secret to Eleanora, Mijal would berate her for being a woman without a face: “A passive, complacent spectator.” In time, she would understand the depth of those words, which, at that […]