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Palabras Errantes Latin American Literature in Translation

Palabras Errantes
Voices from the Venezuelan City
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 […]

The Incident
The Incident

By Ana García Julio. Translated by Katie Brown. español A man goes out into the street. He walks. Nobody knows what he is thinking about, which pleasures or sorrows, which illusions of grandeur or modest plans flicker inside him. Perhaps he isn’t thinking of anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps he is only feeling the […]

The Bead Necklace
The Bead Necklace

By Leila Macor. Translated by Isabelle Mudge. español On Thursday 7th February, there appeared a hole in the ramshackle home of the Sánchez family. It appeared in the middle of the sitting room and had a diameter no bigger than that of a table for six. Luckily the house was spacious, though not grand, which […]

Just Like Riding a Bike
Just Like Riding a Bike

By Marianne Díaz Hernández. Translated by Carolina Orloff. español At the bottom of the road, eight doors from my house, on the top floor of the villa with large windows and mandarin bushes, there lived a girl. She was twenty-four years old. Twenty-four years and black eyes and black hair and Monica Bellucci’s elusive smile. […]

Nagasaki (in the heart)
Nagasaki (in the heart)

Written by Gabriel Payares. Translated by David Jiménez Torres. español for Ednodio Quintero Man lives everything all at once, for the first time, and without preparation. As if an actor were playing his role in the show without any type of rehearsal. But what value can life have if the first rehearsal for living is […]

Liberty Queen
Liberty Queen

By Carolina Lozada. Translated by Joey Whitfield. español She was born wrong: not her, her body. Her story had mistakes in it from the beginning, there on the island; the patria that would later be a postscript. Her father took her to the little registry office, whose window opened onto the pier where he could […]

Her Own Calendar of Saints
Her Own Calendar of Saints

By Héctor Torres. Translated by Lucy Greaves.   ‘Oh Death, come softly / as you are heralded by the arrow…’ For some people, thinking about their time on Earth is a virtue. For the great majority, however, not entirely understanding what life is about is an unquestionable relief. A bargain. To walk aimlessly among the […]

The Can Collector
The Can Collector

By Raquel Rivas Rojas. Translated by Ruth Clarke.   For Lyonell Boulton   The man threw the sack over his shoulder and walked downstream, humming a tune to himself. The cans he was carrying in the sack clinked as his tired feet negotiated the mounds and puddles. Every time he found a can the man […]

The Debt
The Debt

By Raquel Rivas Rojas. Translated by Ruth Clarke.   For Serenella Rosas   There was a storm coming, you could feel it. A gust of wind lifted up leaves, papers, and fine specks of dust from the pavement. Holding her apron in her wet hands, Sere stopped to look at the empty street while Hipólito […]

Song for delicate horses and indecisive coyotes
Song for delicate horses and indecisive coyotes

By Enza García. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. for Leonardo González-Alcalá     I   These buildings wear the apparel of fury. On the balcony the bad faith of the west is insinuated it is a city with rust and government with a ghost train, wolves and Galician taverns but here we have bars and we […]

The Sea is a Mystery
The Sea is a Mystery

By Enza García. Translated by Cherilyn Elston.       Father had died, in the same way that the seabed could not be seen. Clarice Lispector   She’ll leave with that man, Luis thought. His chest filled up with scorpions; he had never been very resistant to those bites like the rest of his brothers: […]

Last Night
Last Night

By Alberto Barrera Tyszka. Translated by Ellen Jones. Manuel doesn’t know whether it’s a memory or a dream. But he can picture himself, just there, in the parking lot of his apartment block, crouching in front of his old Fiat. He looks terrible, wearing faded trousers and a wrinkled t-shirt. He is pale, ashen even; […]

The Ghosts of the City
The Ghosts of the City

By Carlos Colmenares Gil 1. In 2006, two Venezuelan writers, Ana Teresa Torres and Héctor Torres, created an event called the Semana de la Nueva Narrativa Urbana (A Week of New Urban Narrative) in which 15 contemporary writers each read one short story during one week. The event took place for five years and brought […]

To Those That Never Finished Anything
To Those That Never Finished Anything

By Oscar Marcano. Translated by Claire Parsons. It was 11AM and I was drowning my sorrows in Tony’s bar when I noticed her walk in. She was wearing a red dress and high heels. A real sight for sore eyes. She looked like Bettie Page but with darker skin and a larger behind. Crossing the […]

Flamingo
Flamingo

By Rodrigo Blanco. Translated by Alex Thomas. Between three and four in the morning, judging by the colour of the sky, David stops the car at the edge of the highway.  In the distance, the junction that leads to the districts of El Rosal and Chacaito begins to take shape. David gets out of the […]

Mercury
Mercury

By Federico Vegas. Translated by Isabelle Mudge. All of this is what Luis Jerónimo told me, and I believe him. It was Wednesday evening, just after Queen’s first concert in the Poliedro. There were meant to be three concerts, but this was the only one that actually took place; the following day Rómulo Betancourt died […]

Mrs Hyde
Mrs Hyde

By Sonia Chocrón. Translated by Gemma Smith. Photography by Cristina Matos-Albers. Looking at yourself in the mirror, you know something is changing. Genetically. A facial feature, for example, the colour of your hair. Your breasts. All the details reveal the end of my previous life. All except one memory, left over from my first romantic […]

All of the Lost Battles
All of the Lost Battles

By Miguel Hidalgo Prince. Translated by Rebecca Lippman. Photography by Carlos Arvelaiz. My wife said things would get better. I could sense, in her words and from the way that she said them, a sliver of hope. Pure and true. Ah, my wife. From my end it looked like it was going to be rough, […]

Signals
Signals

By Krina Ber.  Translated by Adam Fry. With much effort, not to speak of the prohibitive mortgage rates, my friend Juan Emilio bought himself flat 22B, on the 22nd floor of the tallest apartment block in the city. He made his decision based on the fact that the windows faced south, where, from the sea of […]

Shredded Carrots
Shredded Carrots

By Gisela Kozak. Translated by Roanne Kantor. And they are watching the transparent tube Through which your last supper is flowing (…) The supervising doctor shows he is unmoved It’s shredded carrots Miyó Vestrini     Opening the letter that he’d left in the desk for her:  My dear friend: I have not been able […]

Lurking objects
Lurking objects

By Gisel Kozak. Translated by Roanne Kantor. An unholy rebellion has taken over my domestic tribe, Olga Orozco He’s a twenty-year-old man, proud of being more feared than loved on the millions of steps climbed by life, on the hill cluttered with shacks, the biggest slum in Latin America, according to some experts. This twenty-year-old […]

Editorial: Voices from the Venezuelan City
Editorial: Voices from the Venezuelan City

By Rebecca Jarman. In 2010, Simon Romero published an article in the New York Times entitled ‘Venezuela, More Deadly Than Iraq’. Comparing statistics of civilian deaths in Caracas unfavourably to those in Baghdad, Romero claimed that citizens of the Venezuelan capital might feel safer living in a war-torn country in the Middle East. The comparison […]

For Sale A-8
For Sale A-8

By Mario Morenza. Translated by Anna McIvor. Photography by Cristina Matos-Albers, from the series “Una casa casí vacía”. español Apartment for sale. One bathroom, three bedrooms and balcony. 100m2. Two out of three bedrooms have built in wardrobe. Comes with Kenmore refrigerator. We couldn’t get it out when we tried, the kitchen door was impossible. We […]

Underground
Underground

By Gustavo Valle. Translated by Dunja Fehimovic (Chapters 1 and 2 from the novel Bajo Tierra) Photography by Cristina Matos-Albers, from the series “Caracas La Bella”. Chapter 1 There are a lot of people looking for people and you notice it, you really do. Explaining that is not important. Lost things tend to take the reason […]