By the Firelight is about books, writing & short stories, with a focus on international literature and Spanish language literature in particular. My goal is not only to comment on books I read and relevant literary links I find on the net, but to use my ability to speak Spanish to find articles and books that are not available in English and try to give a flavor of what has not made it into English yet (if it ever does).

Soy un escritor y bloger que vive en Seattle en el noroeste de los Estados Unidos. Con el blog trato de hacer reseñas y comentarios de literatura de cualquiera parte del mundo, pero con un enfoque en la de los Estados Unidos, el mundo del español y el del árabe. Con respecto al español, mi intención es promocionar escritores y noticias sobre la escritura española que no están disponibles en ingles.

In case you were wondering, this book was not written by me, but another Seattlite.

This isn't my book
This isn’t my book

20 thoughts on “About

  1. can you help me to find english translations of poetry by mario benedetti? thankyou.

  2. There isn’t a lot of Benedetti in English, esspecially poems, but you can find two at Amazon:
    Little Stones at My Window: Selected Poems of Mario Benedetti
    Only in the Meantime & Office Poems

  3. hi! i like your blog.
    i’m in translation studies at umass amherst, and i’m hoping to write a paper about how English-reading public’s/academia’s idea of the Latin American “canon” has been crafted and simplified through translation, specifically by which authors have been chosen to be translated and which have not. i found the volpi lecture through your blog, and it has a lot to say on the subject in a general sense.
    i’m wondering if you have a better grasp than i do of current latin american authors – i think i want to focus my paper on a set of three “representative” authors from one country – one who has been heavily translated, one who has some penetration in the english-speaking market, and one with little to no recognition in english speaking circles.
    as i’m somewhat familar with chile and chilean lit, i was thinking of focusing there. would you mind emailing so i could ask you a couple of questions?

  4. Hey there! I really like reading your blog a lot. I’ve added many a good book (especially Latin American authors!) to my ever expanding to-read list thanks to your posts. I’m trying to get into the whole “lit-blogging” thing to but definitely still have a long way to go… Anyway, just wanted to say keep up the good work! I’m based in Portland which is not that far from Seattle–but hey, rainy grey days are conducive to reading, right? 🙂

  5. Thanks for the comment. I checked out your site, too, and your posts are quite impressive. I’d say you have the whole lit bloging thing down. Gray is right, but at least you’ve got Powells.

  6. Hello there,

    Como podria hacerle llegar mi libro de cuentos y de animales Jerigonza para que lo lea y vea si quiere comentarlo?
    Kyra en Ginebra

  7. Hola Kyra,
    Gracias para su interés. Busqué información sobre su libro y leí que es para jóvenes. Aunque reconozco que libros para los jóvenes son importante yo no los leo y no puedo ser un buen juez de libros para jóvenes. Desafortunadamente no hay suficiente tiempo para leer cada genero. Entonces, lo siento, pero tengo que decir que no puedo leer su libro.

    Gracias para su interés.
    Un saludo,

  8. Hi Paul,

    we have never met up, but I’ve been following your readings, reviews and news for quite a long time now. I must confess I’m impressed by the amount and quality of the critical work developed here. It’s not usual at all such a generosity in building bridges between English and Spanish language cultures. I wish there were a bit more cases like this to spread that dialogue. So thanks a lot for that. And for other’s day review as well. Very best regards,

    Andrés N.

  9. Que bueno encontrar blogs como el tuyo.
    Me gustaria compartir contigo mi libro titulado Un Regalo Secreto
    Esta disponible en
    Es un libro electronico y es en español.

    La historia es sobre una niña llamada Catalina que recién se muda a un pequeño pueblo en donde vive una extraña mujer. La enigmática mujer es marginada por todos en el pueblo excepto por Catalina. Entre ambas nace una fuerte amistad que cambiará la percepción de todos los habitantes de aquel pueblo. Una noche la niña recibe un peculiar regalo de la excéntrica mujer que la ayudará a no solo a descubrir el secreto de su propósito en la vida sino que también revelará su destino.

    The story is about a girl call Catalina who recently moved to a small town in where live an strange woman that nobody knows anything. The woman is excluded from society except for the recent arrival girl Catalina. Between both creates a strong bond of friendship. Catalina receives from enigmatic woman a very peculiar gift that will not only help her purpose in life and but that reveal their destination.

    Espero si tienes la oportunidad de leerlo te guste.

    Nelly Nazario

  10. I look forward to sourcing some interesting literature from your site.

  11. Hello,
    I’m the translator of an exciting book of narrative verse by Spanish writer Juan Velasco, entitled Massacre of the Dreamers, recently published by Editorial Polibea in Madrid. The book, which includes a foreword by bestselling novelist Ron Hansen, has received positive reviews. Here is one from Santa Clara Magazine: http://www.scu.edu/scm/spring2012/missionmatters.cfm?b=439&c=12570 (please scroll down). If you would like to receive a review copy, please email me with your USPS physical address at …


    Brendan Riley

  12. Hello, Paul. I found your blog while googling Samanta Schweblin. It seems our blogs have a similar focus: to introduce English-speakers to Spanish-language literature. You are doing excellent work here, and I’ll be following your blog from now on.

    If you have a moment, I’d like your thoughts on what I’m doing over at Contemporary Argentine Writers. http://contemporaryargentinewriters.wordpress.com/

    The idea is to provide English translations of short stories that haven’t been previously translated. So far I’ve posted translations of stories by Mempo Giardinelli, Isidoro Blaisten and Roberto Fontanarrosa. The next story translation I am working on is Samanta’s Rulfo prize winning story, Un Hombre Sin Suerte. After that, I’ve got an ever-growing list of authors to tackle (Abelardo Castillo, Vicente Battista, Alicia Steimberg). I would be most grateful if you could give me your suggestions for others.

    Un abrazo,
    – Dario

  13. Hi Dario,

    Thanks for reading. Yes, it does look like we cover similar things.

    As far as other Argentine authors, I’m not sure I have too many. I have had more of a focus on short stories coming from Spain, more from accident than a specific interest in Spain to the exclusion of other countries. As such, my knowledge of Latina American writers isn’t as strong as I’d like, unless they are based in Spain. That said, I have found Andres Neuman’s work with the short story quite interesting. His most recent collection, Hacerse Muerto was very good. He’s also one to look to as a critic since he is well versed in the short story. You might check the anthology from Paginas de Espuma called Pequeñas Resistencias 3. It focuses on new short stories from South America. Andres Neuman edited the section on Argentina and included the following authors: Eduardo Berti, Marcelo Birmajer, Esther Cross, Anna Kazumi Stahl, Martin Kohan, Guillermo Martinez, Gustavo Nielsen, Patricia Suarez.

    As you may have guessed I’m a big fan of Schweblin, so I look forward to reading your translation of her story.

    Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions.

  14. Thanks a million, Paul! I had Birmajer and Martinez on my list, but the others are new. Hope to have the Schweblin translation up this week.

  15. Hi Scott,
    Thanks for the offer, however, i don’t think this is my cup of tea.

    Thanks for reading.

  16. I have no idea how I failed to notice your blog until now. There’s so much on it that’s dear to my heart! I really like the emphasis on Spanish literature, since it’s not always the best books that find their way to the English-language reader when it comes to translations, and there are lots of buried treasures few know about. With time, I hope to explore By the Firelight in more detail. Keep up the awesome work you’re doing!

  17. Thanks. I was out of it last year, and fit it in when I can, so I can get missed. I only came across your blog recently, too, and we seem to have a similar focus on works that are not available in English, yet, if ever (although, it’s not my only criteria in reading). It’s fund to find some real gems that may not make it anytime soon, especially given all the short stories I read.

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