bythefirelight

Asymptote Journal’s Latin American Issue Out Now

Asymptote Journal has put together a special feature on Latin American fiction for their July issue. Amongst this rich issue are some stand out Latin American writers. See the full contents here. Our special feature on Latin American fiction continues this theme of rebellion, with warm tributes to Gabriel García Márquez (by his Portuguese translator), […]

The Short Story “The Final Days of Daniel Knopoff” by Pablo Besarón up at Contemporary Argentine Writers

The blog Contemporary Argentine Writers has a new short story up: “The Final Days of Daniel Knopoff” by Pablo Besarón. There is also a short bio and an interview with him in Spanish. The morning of Thursday, February 7, 2007, was a typical summer morning. With suffocating heat settling in for the rest of the […]

July Words Without Borders on Migrant Labor out now

While the World Cup still rages, Words Without Borders July issue is on Migrant Labor. This month we present writing about migrant labor. Through official channels or underground networks, fleeing poverty or chasing dreams, the characters here leave their homelands in search of work and new lives, finding nothing is quite as they expected. Bulgarian […]

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes To War by Max Hastings

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes To War Max Hastings Knopf 2013, pg 628 Max Hastings’ history of 1914 is a magnificent account of the events leading up to World War I and the first months there after. Catastrophe is the appropriate title for the book, because in every stage of the outbreak of war the participants […]

Ana María Matute Has Died

The Spanish author, recipient of the Cervantes prize in 2010, has died. She was known for novels and short stories and was one of the representative writers of the mid century Spain. I’ve always enjoyed her work, even if she was lumped in with the social realists that are much out of favor these days. […]

My Review of Mr. Gwyn by Alessandro Baricco is up at Three Percent

My review of Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn by is up at Three Percent. Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means not just […]

A Few Links to Some Spanish Lit in English

The amazingly productive Stu at Winston’s Dad put together a list of lists Spanish language books, translated in English. See more here El Mundo the best 25 books from Spanish 1989 (thanks Arcadia books for link their Blind sunflowers is on the List ,plus two books by Juan Marse that Maclehose is publishing soon . […]

A Short Story from Daniel Sueiro (Mi Asiento en el Tranvia )

A short story from Daniel Sueiro, Mi Asiento en el Tranvia, which the critic Fernando Valls recommends (high praise for me). Read it all here Los días son más largos ahora, cerca ya el verano, y el viaje de vuelta lo hago aún con sol, sean las siete o las ocho de la tarde. No […]

New Book of Literary Essays from José María Merino: Ficción perpetua

The Spanish writer and critic, member of the Real Academa, José María Merino has a new collection of literary essays out. I’ve liked his approach to writing, typically what I find in introductions to collections of short stories. You can read a description of the book here. Ficción perpetua se divide en dos partes. La […]

Child of Tomorrow by Al Feldstein – A Review

Child of Tomorrow Al Feldstein Fantagraphic Books, 2013 Child of Tomorrow is a collection of Al Feldstein’s science fiction work for EC comic’s Weird Science. All of the stories were published between May 1950 and July 1952 and present a fascinating view of an America terrified by the the atomic age. While the stories are […]

An Analysis of Juan Eduardo Zúñiga at Turia

The Spanish literary magazine Turia has an excellent overview and analysis of the work of Juan Eduardo Zúñiga, in particular his trilogy of the Spanish Civil War, by Fernado Valls, a literary critic whose work I like. It is a long article and worth the read. Zúñiga is the author of Largo novembre de Madrid […]

Bestiario by Javier Tomeo – A Review

Bestiario (from Cuentos Completos) Javier Tomeo Páginas de Espuma, 2012 Javier Tomeo was a Spanish writer who wrote hundreds of micro fictions along with novels and plays. His sort works are unique, especially those of the Bestiario, for their parable-like nature that mixes Aesop with modern science. First published in 2000, Bestiario presents the reader […]

Goddamn This War! by Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney – A review

Goddamn This War! Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney Helge Dascher, trans Fantagraphis Books, 2013 Just in time for the 100th anniversary of World War I is Goddamn This War! by Tardi with chronology by Jean-Pierre Verney (translated by Helge Dascher). The book is a brief history of World War I that eschews plot or characterization and […]

Andrés Neuman’s Newest Book: Barbarismos

This came out a few weeks ago, but I’ve been a little busy lately. Andrés Neuman has a new book out in Spain called, Barbarismos (Barbarisms). It is a collection of humorous definitions of common words. Kind of reminds me of Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. You can read about it, get and excerpt, and see a […]

Words Without Borders The Queer Issue Volume V Out Now

June 2014: The Queer Issue Volume V This June we present the fifth installment of our annual queer issue. We’ve gathered a group from all corners of the world to celebrate this milestone with us. From Colombia, Alberto Salcedo Ramos gets in league with the queens of soccer, while Taiwan’s Qiu Miaojin pens fiery, lyrical […]

El matrimonio de los peces rojos (The Marriage of the Red Fish) by Guadalupe Nettel

El matrimonio de los peces rojos (The Marriage of the Red Fish) Guadalupe Nettel Paginas de Espuma, 2013, pg 120 Guadalupe Nettel’s collection of short stories explore the relationship between animals and humans. Over the course of five stories the animals become reflections of human behavior as they interact with her characters at the edge […]

Rafael Chirbes Wins the Premio de la Crítica

The Spanish author Rafael Chirbes won the Premio de la Crítica for his latest novel En la orilla, a criticism of Spanish society and the crisis. It is a realistic novel in the vein Dickens and Benito Pérez Galdós one of Spain’s great writers of the 19th century. He is pessimistic about the world and […]

An Interview with Elena Poniatowska on the Event of her Cervantes Prize

El Pais had an interview last week with Elena Poniatowska on the event of her wining the Cervantes prize P. Cuando usted publicó La noche de Tlatelolco, un referente sobre lo ocurrido el 2 de octubre de 1968, el momento más duro de la represión del régimen, ¿se sintió amenazada? R. Sí. Amenazaron a Tomás […]

Tenth of December by George Saunders – A Review

Tenth of December George Saunders Random House, 2013, pg 251 It has been some time since I’ve read a book of short stories from an American writer and enjoyed them. For some reason I’ve had some back luck-that and I’m tired of reading about middle class problems, or, at least, the ones that I find […]

Jorge Volpi Has a New Book

The Mexican author Jorge Volpi has a new novel, Memorial del engaño (The Memorial of a Fraud). It is a political-economic novel with various narrative games, including the use of an alternate J. Volpi as narrator. Así, la novela no la escribe él, sino un tal J. Volpi, nacido en Nueva York en 1953 y […]