The RuinsBy Rafael Reyes-Ruiz
The Ruins tells a story of loss and longing, memory and desire as the protagonist tries to find his way among the remnants of global cultural collisions and intersections—through Thailand, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, and Portugal—intermingling past with present. A haunting and moving testament of the transcultural and transhistorical web of contemporary human existence and the strivings of the human heart.
In search of a better life, Tomás Rodrigues has rewritten his past with consequences disconcerting to his present. He is at a tipping point, fearful of losing the strands of his own life story. His dreamlike meanderings around Tokyo mirror his unreliable perceptions when he begins to obsessively track a woman who is the doppelganger of his first true love—a romance that ended when she chose to search for her ancestral roots rather than pursue their future. Commissioned by the doctor who treats him after a minor accident, Rodrigues undertakes the translation of a sixteenth-century Portuguese manuscript only to find it dovetailing with his search for his former lover.
Rafael Reyes-Ruiz teaches in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at Zayed University in Dubai. He is editor of Encounters, an academic journal/book series. Reyes-Ruiz has published several short stories in both English and Spanish, as well as co-edited an anthology of short stories regarding Latin Americans in Japan. He is currently at work on a second novel.
DesolationBy Gabriela Mistral
Translation, Introduction and Afterword by Michael P. Predmore and Liliana Baltra
Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Prize. This first translation of the complete work of Desolación allows English readers for the first time to appreciate the integrity and expressive power of the life and works of Gabriela Mistral. The translation is based on the Nascimento 1923 edition, considered the most accurate and reliable Spanish text in the field.
"By taking on the challenge of translating Desolación, the first book by Gabriela Mistral, into English for the first time, Liliana Baltra and Michael Predmore have carried out an essential task. Gabriela Mistral is a Chilean poet, born in the northern corner of Chile in 1889, and a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945. She was the first Latin American author to receive this distinction. As a great defender of the rights of children and of the most dispossessed, she was ahead of her time with her vision in the defense of women, human rights, and ethnic minorities in Latin America. Consequently, the importance of this translation includes the experience of the Chilean Liliana Baltra. Who better than she to understand a voice so universal and at the same time, so Chilean as that of Gabriela Mistral."
Michael P. Predmore is Professor of Modern Peninsular Spanish Literature at Stanford University. He is a prominent scholar in the field of modern Hispanic poetry. He is internationally recognized for his studies, as well as his editions and translations of the poetry of Antonio Machado and Juan Ramón Jim&ecute;nez. His scholarly publications include important articles on Rubén Darío and Pablo Neruda, which have contributed to his present interest and dedication to the poetry and prose of Gabriela Mistral.
Liliana Baltra is Professor Emerita of the University of Chile in the field of Applied Linguistics. She has published extensively in Chile, both in English and Spanish. Her texts pertain to teaching English as a second language. For the past seven years, she has devoted herself to the poetry of Gabriela Mistral and to the intricacies of translating her work into English. She is currently creating an English translation of the writings of a Chilean novelist who depicts the lives of the common people of Chile.
Legends of GuatemalaBy Miguel Ángel Asturias
Translated by Richard Kelly Washbourne
The first English-language translation of Guatemalan Nobel Laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias' first book of fiction, Leyendas de Guatemala (1930), was a groundbreaking achievement of "ethnographic surrealism," a liberating avant-garde recreation of popular tales and characters from the Guatemalan collective unconscious, including from the Mayan sacred text, the Popul Vuh. A riot of folklore, colonial resistance, animistic nature, and the unfolding drama of hybrid ethnic identity-formation, Legends are told with a stunning, oneiric lyricism.
Miguel Ángel Asturias (1899-1974), novelist, diplomat and Nobel laureate (1967), was Guatemala's most notable writer of all time, and the first modern Spanish American author to bring genuine ethnographic consciousness, combined with a Surrealist, experimental technique and undercurrents of scathing social protest, particularly against the Estrada Cabrera regime (1898-1920). A co-translator of the Popol Vuh and other sacred Mayan texts as a youngman in the 1920s, Asturias would come to write what is probably his masterpiece, Hombres de maíz, in 1949. The novel depictsan Indian guerilla uprising in mythical time. His later works unmasked the historical abuses of the United Fruit Company; the works comprising his "Banana Trilogy" are milestones of engaged writing in the twentieth century.
Asturias spent many years in exile, due mainly to his antimilitaristic journalism in defense of the leftist government of Jacobo Árbenz, and was even imprisoned for his early support of the Cuban revolution. He is recalled today as an indispensable pioneer of the Boom of the 1960s and 70s, at the same time thathe was among the first to recover the Mayan heritage and cultural identity for world literature.
Friends of MineBy Ángela Pradelli
Translated by Andrea G. Labinger
Friends of Mine pays homage to the solidarity of women's friendship and to the importance of the rituals that demarcate our lives. The four principal characters, lifelong friends, are not famous, or exceptionally beautiful, or paragons of virtue, but Pradelli renders them unforgettable with her Chekhovian eye for detail and for the poetry of the quotidian.
Ángela Pradelli (Buenos Aires, 1959) is widely recognized as one of Argentina's foremost prose stylists. She is the author of Las cosas ocultas (Hidden Things); Turdera; El lugar del padre (The Place of the Father); and most recently the novel Combi (Minibus), in addition to several books on education and language. The recipient of numerous literary awards, Pradelli earned the Premio Emecé prize in 2002 for Amigas mías (Friends of Mine).
"Consisting of a series of interrelated and mostly short narratives, Friends of Mine follows a group of women from the same Buenos Aires neighborhood over the years from childhood to middle age. They meet for dinner every New Year's Eve, which repeatedly brings the strands of their life back together again. In the meantime, the conflicts, counterpoints, confluences, and juxtapositions of their individual narratives and of those of several other persons from their existential universe provide for a rich tapestry of women's urban lives."
"Pradelli... whispers, to the beauty of the minutiae in all of life, without fanfare or rhetoric, following the mandate of things in their silence, in their sorrow."