LALT Number 9

Number 9

Latin American Literature Today begins its third year of publication with an issue that takes in Venezuelan poetry, the writing of indigenous women, and the strange worlds of fiction. We open the journal's second volume with a dossier dedicated to Samanta Schweblin, an Argentine writer whose work tests the limits between the fantastic and...

I would like this special section of Latin American Literature Today to be yet another indicator of the growing influence of Latinos in the U.S.  Three facts underscore their growing impact. ...

Although this inventory of historic and emergent Genízaro characters and themes in the Nuevomexicano literary imagination is abbreviated, it invites in-depth critical study of a scarcely known facet of the creative writings of the borderlands. In Spanish colonial New Mexico, Genízaros were a class of detribalized, Hispanicized indigenous...

Given the critical attention that Ana Castillo’s novel set in New Mexico So Far from God has received since its 1993 publication, the divergent reactions it evokes among Mexican American readers are surprising.  For readers unfamiliar with nuevomexicana/o people, culture and history, the novel’s use of magic realism, wrapped around a...

Kirstin Valdez Quade’s collection of short stories Night at the Fiestas presents a set of stories about, primarily but not exclusively, Nuevomexicanas/os. These characters initially appear to be stereotypical Chicanx characters, but Valdez Quade invokes a particular negativity that functions as a decolonial intervention aimed at...

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Fiction

The Animal Days

Rafael stands on the edge of a big stone wall, waving his arms up and down like a bird, flexing his knees and flapping as if he were about to take off in flight, as if he were going to throw himself onto me. He talks and talks. Every time he leans forward I’m sure he’s about to fall. He plays, feints, regains his balance, beats his wings, teeters...

Nylsa Martínez

My wife’s final wishes were that I scatter her ashes in a shopping center. She always said so as if she were joking, and because of that, when she met her creator, I couldn’t convince my children to honor her request.

María José Navia Here

She never imagined there’d be so many. She’s running late so she isn’t able to count them, but she’d say there’s at least fifteen. Even though it’s a Saturday night. And it’s ridiculously cold. Everyone is sitting around a circle, like she thought they would be, each wearing a self-adhesive badge with their name on it. They don’t look at each...

Interviews

Neruda: The Poet's Calling

At the age of forty-five, Mark Eisner is surprised to have spent one third of his life researching and writing about the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. He was one of the principal translators of the anthology, The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems, that City Lights published in 2004, and later he wrote the introduction of the first English...

Mara Pastor

Well, with me the start of poetry was in the epistolary. I remember that I would write to the members of my family for various reasons. Mainly, to try to communicate what I felt I could not express through the orality of conversation. I felt the need to communicate an emotional load, but in the same way I intuited that the oral word was not...

Rafael Cadenas con su familia

The following interview is composed of extracts of a conversation that took place between Claudia Sierich and Rafael Cadenas in September 1999, published by Rafael Cadenas in Entrevistas (San Felipe, Venezuela: La Oruga Luminosa, 2000). We present it to our readers as a showing of the relevance of Cadenas’ thoughts regarding the themes...

Essays

Samanta Schweblin

I have a good memory of the first time I came face to face with a story by the Argentine writer Samanta Schweblin (Buenos Aires, 1978). It was in the anthology La joven guardia [The young guard], published in Buenos Aires in 2005. The book compiled works by writers who were “young” at the time: who, born after 1970, found themselves at the...

Rafael Cadenas en Guadalajara

I should say once more: thank you. These are very important words. They are used to express appreciation, as in this very moment, for something that comes directly from the Queen of Spain.

Moronga de Horacio Castellanos Moya

Lately the world of murder mysteries or crime novels has taken on new and varied forms of expression.  We do not propose to make a list of those paths since they are already well known.

Poetry

Rafael Cadenas, Venezuelan Poet

I who have never had a tradewho before any competitor have felt weakwho have lost the best qualifications for lifewho as soon as I arrive at a place already want to leave (thinking that moving is a solution)who have been denied in advance and scoffed at by the fitterwho lean on walls so as not to fall downwho am an object of laughter to myself

Iliana Rocha Poems

A fistfight of paper on the ground, his helloas ancient as dinosaurs. Honeydewsbright as crayons.        His donations to the sun,the backbreaking work of immigrants. Humanbattery. Decades of floral on the walls.

Adriana Paredes Pinda

Blow to mea song simple and lastinga song incorruptiblea song untoucheda songunsuccumbing before the unstoppable passing of all things

Editor’s Pick

El gran farsante by Luis Carlos Azuaje

El gran farsante [The great pretender] brings a case from the outrageous national reality of Venezuela to the world of fiction. In April 2013, Yendrick Sánchez, a young man with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, ran up to the podium of the National Assembly while Nicolás Maduro gave his address upon taking office as president. His only...

Moronga de Horacio Castellanos Moya

In many ways, Horacio Castellanos Moya’s new novel, Moronga, published in May of 2018, follows a similar thematic track seen in some of his more recent novels. Whereas the foregrounding of displaced Salvadorans, traumatized by the Civil War in their homeland more than thirty years ago are present in Moya’s novels La diáspora [The...

Casa transparente

This is not the first graphic novel by María Luque. She had already wowed us with La mano del pintor [The hand of the painter] (2016), in which the figure of Cándido López visits her and asked her for help. Nor is it the first time that María’s eye has paused over the everyday, over intimate spaces. One need only see her posts on social...

Indigenous Literature

Literatura Mapuche

Since its third issue, Latin American Literature Today has included a special dossier to disseminate the voices of dozens of indigenous women poets who since the 80s have forcefully burst onto the scene all over the American continent. This editorial move is a humanitarian as well as a political gesture, since these voices,...

Manuel Tzoc Bucup

I would like to begin by stating that translating Indigenous literatures into languages like English is seldom done and even less theorized. In the case of “bilingual” Indigenous texts, for example, Indigenous authors themselves tend to create both the Indigenous- and Spanish-language text. As I lay out in my recent article on the poetry of the...

Felipe H. Lopez

I would like to offer the reader a story of a journey, namely my own journey through the words of poet Felipe H. Lopez. I trust that the reader will understand that every path is different, even if it happens to lead to the same destination, so perhaps what I say reflects only one truth. However, I want to encourage every reader to make their own...