The new Open Letter catalog for winter 2011 is out. As always the catalog is filled with interesting books. Of note is Scars from Juan Jose Saer and The Smoke of Distant Fires from Euardo Chirinos. The Saer sounds quite interesting.
Juan José Saer’s Scars explores a crime committed by Luis Fiore, a thirty-nine year old laborer who shot his wife twice in the face with a shotgun; or, rather, it explores the circumstances of four characters who have some connection to the crime: a young reporter, Ángel, who lives with his mother and works the courthouse beat; a dissolute attorney who clings to life only for his nightly baccarat game; a misanthropic and dwindling judge who’s creating a superfluous translation of The Picture Dorian Gray; and, finally, Luis Fiore himself, who, on May Day, went duck hunting with his wife, daughter, and a bottle of gin. Each of the stories in Scars explores a fragment in time—be it a day or several months—when the lives of these characters are altered, more or less, by a singular event. Originally published in 1969, Scars marked a watershed moment in Argentinian literature and has since become a modern classic of Latin American literature.
For fans of poetry Euardo Chirinos will be the second book of poetry published by Open Letter.
The Smoke of Distant Fires contains thirteen new poems from the contemporary Peruvian poet, essayist, critic, translator, and children’s book author, Eduardo Chirinos. Precisely organized and formally inventive, each poem in the collection is itself a collection of ten numbered stanzas, and each of the stanzas themselves are fully formed poems, a series of rhythmic, elliptical fables from a fully recognizable, yet wholly original, world.The third collection of Chirinos’s poetry to appear in English, The Smoke of Distant Fires signals an exciting new direction in Chirinos’s poetics—its multivocal stanzas, evocative intertextuality, and enigmatic transparency join forces to perform a poignant interrogation of what it means to write poetry in the early twenty-first century
As always the catalog includes an excerpt of each work.