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Palabras Errantes Latin American Literature in Translation

Palabras Errantes
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 […]

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 […]

Tilsa Otta
Tilsa Otta

Translated by K.T. Billey.   today for the first time I was offended by god having met you as a woman without a penis you who likes them so much you say pricks speaking of sizes I have one but it’s for personal use it’s not really mine I couldn’t use it with you it’s […]

Artemisa Téllez
Artemisa Téllez

Translated by Charlotte Whittle   The Day After Tomorrow When I am dead Will the risen ones come to the world and seek my eyes among the tombs of the graveyard? Will my hands be licked by the dogs that didn’t live to see another summer? Will I be mourned by my brother, the one […]

Reality and Desire
Reality and Desire

By Gisela Kozak Rovero. Translated by María José Giménez Reality, yes, reality: A seal of closure on all doors of desire. Olga Orozco The young woman has read the following text over and over on her computer screen: She was always a woman whose heart was set on fire, always exercised her freedom because you […]

Tests
Tests

By Elena Solis. Translated by Ellen Jones. We were very worried about the appearance of a third cyst on my maxillary sinus. I told you that, many years ago, I’d had one removed, and another last year too. Last year’s hadn’t been analysed because the doctor was convinced it was completely benign. So we were […]

Methadone
Methadone

By Elena Solis. Translated by Ellen Jones. I am writing without getting out of bed, because when I do Jacinta and Artu go insane. They run circles around me, saying hello and playing. Jacinta thinks she’s a cat and bites and scratches me. But her teeth are too strong and her claws too hard. I’m […]

THESE ARE THINGS THAT I ONLY TELL MYSELF
THESE ARE THINGS THAT I ONLY TELL MYSELF

By Rosa María Roffiel. Translated by Charlotte Coombe. Oh, the fantasy! Oh, the reality! Yes, these are things that I only tell myself. Like how when we had our first meeting to see if you would take me on as a patient and if I wanted you as my therapist, straight off I liked the […]

Something Naked
Something Naked

By Martín Cerisola, translated by Keith Ekiss. Photography by Diego Vidart. from Something Naked   “All the beautiful phrases spoken about transcending nature prove ineffectual in the face of the primordial forces of life.” —Frank Kafka, Diaries   I A cemetery of elephants. A vast territory of immense, white bones.   Suddenly, in a corner, […]

Sonetos a dos
Sonetos a dos

from Sonetos a dos by Horacio Cavallo and Francisco Tomsich, translated by Geoffrey Brock. Photography by Diego Vidart.   Hermes I.   Crickets are errors in the silence, or so thinks sleepless Hermes, in his boxer shorts. Chin on his fist, packet of cigarettes beneath the portrait of Florencio.   The moon, the window: up […]

Elisa Mastromatteo
Elisa Mastromatteo

By Elisa Mastromatteo, translated by Orlando Menes. Photography by Diego Vidart.   As Simple as That   One must simply let it come out, one must let it it wants to come out, and it goes forth forges new energies comes out, breathes rummages through objects, removes lint it looks and points, makes drawings leaps […]

Alicia Preza
Alicia Preza

By Alicia Preza, translated by Julia Leverone. Photography by Diego Vidart.   The Spell   Long ago, I left my home. In this new place, remote, no one can find me. An ancient woman took me in— her age breeds gleeful bats. The woman prepares a treat, shuts herself in the kitchen. Her dogs lie […]

Miguel Avero
Miguel Avero

Miguel Avero, translated by Jona Colson. Photography by Diego Vidart. Sea breaking open   The night disintegrates over the brightness of the umbrellas, over the countless skins gradually hardened. In the folds of the quivering breeze air and water are the same. Individuals rush trampling the perplexed mirrors of the street. A gray smoke that […]