Thirteen Crime Stories from Latin America – A Review

Thirteen Crime Stories from Latin America
McSweeney’s No. 46
McSweeney’s 2014, pg 270

Maybe I just don’t like crime fiction? I don’t read much of it. Perhaps reading this collection was a mistake for someone like myself? But I’ve read enough fiction with criminality and violence that I can only conclude something else was at work. As much as I tried to like the stories within and find something redeeming, if not in substance at least in style, I failed. I read one story after another and it turns out most of them are not that good. Lazy is a better adjective. I get the feeling that some of these stories are written by writers who don’t read much crime fiction either. Santiago Roncacliolo’s story is a case in point. It was essentially a police officer’s disposition of a crime, told in a linear fashion with little in the way of interesting touches. The subject, too, was just as uninteresting, a murder of a singer over drugs. There is, of course, potential in the subject but other than pointing out the drugs are a problem, the story is flat. Fine. Roncacliolo’s stories aren’t my favorite anyway. I think the best story of his I’ve read was in the the Future is not Ours collection. The next story by the Argentine Mariana Enriquez gave me a glimmer of hope. The narrator of the story is a woman who lives in a run down part of Buenos Aries. She’s a middle class woman, a little naive, who lives in the neighborhood because of the great old art deco mansions. On the street she encounters a dirty street child, the son of a crack addict who lives somewhere near by. She befriends the boy and he seeks her help when the mother disappears. The mother doesn’t want anything to do with the woman and jealously guards her son. Unlike many of these stories, the story resolves back into mystery when the addict disappears and the narrator is fairly certain, but not 100 percent sure, she has seen the little boy’s corpse by the side of  road. Enriquez’s story presents a couple elements missing from most of the stories: narrative mystery (as opposed to a mystery story), subtlety with her characters, and a resolution that is open ended. It is one of the few stories that doesn’t attempt wrap up a crime in easy terms. Another story of note was from Alejandro Zambra. It has his usual narrative adventurousness and is both a story and the story of a story. What makes the story suffer is the graphic sex with a child. As a subject, child abuse is fine, but there was something off putting about the way he wrote it, as if he enjoyed writing it too much. It is a touchy subject where art and crime meet and in the case I think he went too far. Speaking of graphic sex, several of the writers have something for transvestite prostitutes. Fine, but also a cliche. And why do they have to end up dismembered ? At least Enriquez gave her transvestite her own voice. The only other story of interest was Rodrigo Ray Rosa’s account of a drug clinic buried in the Guatemalan jungle. It was interesting, had an air of mystery to it and until the ending was well written. Unfortunately, it had one of the sloppiest endings that was just tacked on to finish it off. Finally, one last complaint: where are the women authors? There was only one Enriquez. A 1:13 ratio is bad. There have to be a few more women who want to write crime fiction. It certainly would have given a little more variation. So, no, I did not like much about this collection. One of the more disappointing things I’ve read for sometime.

 

Alejandro Zambra Interviewed in El Pais

El Pais has a decent length interview with Alejandro Zambra. It is worth checking out to get a sense of what animates his writing.

—Sí, claro. De ser un niño muy teórico e inteligentoso, la literatura pasó a servirme para explicarme cosas de las que no estaba seguro. En Formas de volver a casa yo sabía lo que estaba narrando, pero pretendía también disolver otras certezas, conseguir una cierta ambigüedad. Que el libro fuera muchas cosas a la vez. Y por supuesto que algunas cosas no sabía que estaban ahí. Eso es lo que tiene la literatura de intransferible: existen fragmentos no calculados. Creo que intenté otra manera de hablar de la dictadura chilena, que a ratos desconcierta. Hay escritores chilenos profesionales que recorren Europa…

—Comercializando el dolor.

—Claro, y bueno, sabemos quiénes son. A veces cuesta explicar en el extranjero que acá existía una vida cotidiana mientras sucedían hechos horrendos. Un periodista francés, a propósito de Formas de volver a casa, me preguntó cómo era posible que un niño anduviera por las calles en ese tiempo, sin saber que los niños de entonces andábamos por las calles harto más que los de ahora.

Los libros de Zambra, no es ni necesario preguntárselo, son autobiográficos. Hurguetean en él mismo. Hay una voz que los atraviesa. Cualquiera sea el conflicto —siempre finalmente íntimo— está el testimonio de un narrador encarnado. “En Formas de volver a casa pagué una deuda con mi infancia. Durante mucho tiempo pensé que mi experiencia no tenía importancia. Era el tiempo en que lo realmente significativo era que se esclarecieran los crímenes, que las víctimas de la tortura pudieran hablar; los que importaban no éramos nosotros —los hijos de la clase media del extrarradio, despolitizada— sino los hijos de las víctimas. Si entonces me hubieran dicho que escribiría una novela sobre la villa en que vivía en Maipú, no lo hubiera creído. Esa novela, más que relatar hechos, lo que quiere es hacerse cargo de la imposibilidad de relatarlos. En rigor, ahí hay experiencias, pero también está la sensación de que no valen la pena de ser narradas, porque hay asuntos que son más importantes. En el fondo tiene que ver con el duelo, cuando este se transformó en algo realmente colectivo en Chile. Esto debe haber pasado hace unos diez años. Dejó de ser un asunto solamente de las víctimas, y la mayoría de los chilenos entendieron que estas cosas le habían pasado al país. Aún quedan muchos crímenes sin resolver, todavía campea la impunidad, pero al menos los chilenos entendimos, la mayoría, que el duelo es colectivo”.

Bonsai – The Movie of Alejandro Zambra’s Novel – A Review

While I thought Bonsai was well written and showed some inventiveness, I thought it was a little juvenile at times. Still I was curious how such a literary novel would be turned into a movie, especially all the references to writing and reading. I’ve long since gotten over the truism that the book and the movie are never the same. What interests me is what decisions they have made. As far as the literary content goes, they handled it quite nicely. The running joke about the main character writing a novel that he is really supposed to be transcribing is in some ways a little more interesting because it is subtle. Where as the narrator has to explain it in the novel, the film just shows it. It is one of those advantages that film can occasionally have. The real plus of the film, though, was it did not seem as juvenile as the book. The change in narrative perspective is most likely what created that feeling. The film it self is serious, the incidents are comic, whereas the narration of the novel is light and jokey. One is certainly not better than the other; they are their own things. The novel is certainly more revolutionary; the film is fairly straight forward. As literary movies go, though, it is one of the better ones. The film makers didn’t try to create a metaphor for the creation of writing, something that is usually tedious. Rather writing is just something one does and reading is something one enjoys. Moreover, they were able to use the same jokes from the book to show the two lovers injecting literature into their lives and constructing literary significances to even the smallest things. That sense of the primacy of literature in the book is stronger because in the movie the characters, almost comically, are often going to puny parties at the college that makes all their pretensions seem funny. So although Bonsai the movie is not Bonsai the book, as adaptations go, it is one of the better ones.

Alejandro Zambra Interviewed in El Pais – How the Cost of Books Shape His Desire for E-Books

El Pais has an interview with Alejandro Zambra on the publishing of his book of criticism, No leer, in Spain. What is interesting about the article, especially in context of some recent articles questioning the structure of the publishing industry in the Spanish speaking world, is that he says he read most of his books in photocopied editions because they were too expensive otherwise. And due to all this, he is looking forward to the e-book which will reduce the cost of the book (although, there is a cost to entry in that you have to have a reader, but I suppose he takes that for granted).

“Muchas grandes obras que fueron importantes para mí las leí en fotocopia. Los libros en Chile son objetos de lujo, carísimos. Parecen diseñados como para que la gente no lea. Las fotocopias me recuerdan los tiempos que uno le pasaba sus poemas a la amiga que estabas conociendo y hacías como un libro, o cuando un amigo fotocopiaba Guerra y paz, de 30 en 30 páginas. Por eso me interesan los e-books. Si finalmente puedes pagar mucho menos por un libro, ¿por qué no? El libro es solo un producto, lo importante es el texto. Y a la vez soy hiperfetichista de los libros. Me interesan todos los formatos. También me gustan mucho los audiobooks, porque creo que un buen texto debiera uno poder escucharlo en voz alta. La prosa tiene que tener ritmo. Y ese ritmo tiene que sorprenderte, provocar efectos específicos. No hay que olvidar que así era la literatura. La costumbre de leer en silencio es relativamente nueva. En las ventas del Quijote se lee una novela para que varios la escuchen”.

Is The Center of Spanish Language Publishing Returning to Latin America?

El Pais had an article recently about La Feria del LIbro de Buenos Aires and a group of Latin American authors who gave their thoughts on where the power base of Spanish publishing is. Historically it has gone back and forth. While Spain was under Franco Latin America was the publishing center. When Spain became a democracy and Latin America had its own problems the center of publishing moved to Spain. Now the question is, is it about to change? Many of the authors consulted hoped it would, pointing out it is silly that to get books published they have to go to Spain, and that if they only publish in their home country their book probably won’t leave their home country. Ebooks, of course, were touted as one of the solutions but it is uncertain if that is going to be as liberating as might be hoped for. Given that Spain refused to put in a large presence in the book fair do to a squabble with Argentina, things are certain to change.

Vale, no hay un nuevo Gabriel García Márquez en Latinoamérica. Ni “rayuelas”, ni “conversaciones en la catedral”. No hay millones de personas en el mundo esperando a que salga el último libro de la porteña Claudia Piñeiro, o de su compatriota Marcelo Cohen, premio de la Crítica en Argentina por su novela Balada. La gente no abarrota las salas donde habla la mexicana Guadalupe Nettel, ni se detiene el tráfico cuando cruza un semáforo con su mochila al hombro el chileno Alejandro Zambra o el colombiano Tomás González. Y sin embargo, a todos ellos les va bien dentro y, a veces, fuera de sus países. La Feria del Libro de Buenos Aires también goza de excelente salud: desde el 19 de abril y hasta el 7 de mayo se espera la asistencia de 1.250.000 personas que pagarán el equivalente a 4,5 euros por entrar en un recinto casi tan grande como cinco campos de fútbol lleno de libros. Los cinco novelistas se dieron cita el viernes en la Feria para hablar ante una audiencia de unas 200 personas no sobre sus propios libros, sino de sus experiencias como lectores. Muy pronto surgió la cuestión de España: ¿Por qué se depende tanto de las editoriales españolas para encontrar a los buenos autores de Latinoamérica? ¿Por qué siguen llegando los libros de otros idiomas traducidos al español de España?

The New Boom: Latin American Non-Fiction?

I actually don’t like terms like the Boom, but El Pais had an interesting conversation about a new collection coming out from Alfagrara: Antología de crónica latinoamericana actual. (You can read an excerpt here – the 42 page introduction) It is an anthology of stories from newspapers and magazines that focus on the way journalistic writing has developed as its own art form among Spanish speaking journalists. I know there have been many excellent journalists in the past so I don’t want to over state the boom idea. But the focus on journalistic narrative, apparently, has undergone a resurgence of interest. The name English speakers might recognize is Alejandro Zambra. El Pais explains the phenomenon:

1. De acuerdo,  la palabra boom huele. ¿Lo dejamos en “explosión controlada de la crónica latinoamericana”? Lo dejamos. Pero también diremos que en los últimos años han proliferado en América Latina las revistas, las colecciones, los talleres y hasta los premios dedicados a la crónica. Además, ahora se publican en España dos amplias selecciones dedicadas a ese género híbrido que llaman periodismo narrativo. Hoy mismo llega a las librerías Antología de crónica latinoamericana actual (Alfaguara), coordinada por Darío Jaramillo Agudelo. El 1 de marzo lo hará Mejor que ficción. Crónicas ejemplares (Anagrama), a cargo de Jorge Carrión. El próximo sábado Babelia -que ya dedicó una portada al género– se ocupará de ambos libros y del fenómeno que representan. Hoy Papeles Perdidos ofrece dos crónicas incluidas en la selección de Jaramillo: El sabor de la muerte, del mexicano Juan Villoro, y Bob Dylan en el Auditorium Theater, del dominicano Frank Báez.

Bonsai by Alejandro Zambra – A Review

Bonsai (The Contemporary Art of the Novella)
Alejandro Zambra
Melville Hose, pg 83

In someways I thought Bonsai was quite interesting, and brevity, one of the defining features of the book, should be commended since it is so easy to fill up novels with pointless digressions. It’s not just the lack of pages that makes for brevity, but Zambra’s avoidance of temporal realism, that need to narrate a character’s movement through a doorway, a house, etc. Often that material is quite pointless, and he instead plays with where the story is going. Often it seems as if he is not interested in a story, but the story about the story, as if you were hearing the story second hand. It is that lack of detail, whether physical, or emotional that leaves one distant from the story. You have some facts about the characters, and some facts about the story telling, but structuring a narrative is just what happens when you read.

You can see how he goes about writing in this quote. It has all the hallmarks of his style: repetition, reversals, and a sketch-like description of his characters.

It is possible but would perhaps be abusive to relate this excerpt to the story of Julio and Emilia it Would be abusive, as Proust’s novel is riddled with excerpts like this one. And also because there are pages left, because this story continues.

Or does not continue.

The story of Julio and Emilia continues but does not go on.

It will end some years later, with Emilia’s death; Julio, who doesn’t not die, who will not die, who has not died, continues but decides not to go on. The same for Emilia: for now she decides not to go on, but she continues. In a few years she will no longer continue nor go on.

Knowledge of a thing cannot impede it, but there are illusory hopes, and this story, which is become a story of illusory hopes, goes on like this: […]

But where does that take one? Zambra is very conscious in making literary references throughout the book. It is a novel for people who think books create reality, not something that is just part of reality. Zambra moves between characters who read Flaubert, Proust and finally a character who pretends to be transcribing a book by a Chilean author and creates his own work in doing it. Except for the creation of a shadow book, I had the sensation that it would be more interesting if I were 21 again and the discovery of Proust was a revolution. But Zambra doesn’t even go to that level, what he often sounds like is a glib student laughing because he got out of reading it. Yes, that is what his characters do, but in reading it I have that same sensation of glibness. Now it doesn’t matter if he likes Proust or not, but the reading of the book makes his playfulness seem like window dressing of a young man.

Going back to the quote, the style while interesting, in the hands of Zambra, also leaves something wanting. At first the back and forth about the characters continuing is intriguing, but again it is light and while the story about the story, his playing with narrative, is interesting, the characters again are flat. From this slim a book I don’t expect grand insights, that isn’t what if is about, but the humor that should be in Julio’s character is tedious. It reads quick enough, but the transitory whims of young people just end up sounding like spoiled children. Brevity is beautiful, just make it about something interesting.

I had looked forward to Bonsai, and in some ways it was interesting, but if I need a little detachment in my reading I’ll go for Bernhard or De Assis’ Diary of a Small Winner.

 

Alejandro Zambra Interviewed in El Pais

El Pais has an interview with Alejandro Zambra that is more a brief history of his literary life, than a deep analysis of his works. (I supposed this is how newspaper articles always go.) They touch on his career as a reviewer which has been controversial, especially in Chile where he attacked Hernán Rivera Letelier, saying that his work showed that “moralizing, overindulgent plots, and too much of the picturesque only serve to camouflage the most inept narratives.   A little nasty to say the least. I think his comments on the his generation of writers is more interesting and though brief, worth reading:

Afuera es alta noche y llueve un agua insidiosa. En una o dos horas más, Zambra va a estar comiendo carne en el área de fumadores de un restaurante al que va siempre, pero ahora dice que está aprendiendo a hablar de su nueva novela y que todavía no sabe bien cómo. Formas de volver a casa, que acaba de publicar Anagrama, transcurre en Chile en los años ochenta, durante la dictadura de Pinochet, y cuenta la historia de un niño a quien una niña le encarga la tarea de espiar a un hombre e informarla de sus movimientos. El niño acepta, aunque no entiende cuál es el motivo de esa vigilancia. Veinte años más tarde ambos se reencuentran y las piezas del puzle empiezan a encajar. La novela se organiza en torno a dos partes fundamentales -‘La literatura de los padres’ y ‘La literatura de los hijos’- y devela su propia construcción a través de un diario que lleva el narrador.

-Mi generación está en alguna medida enferma de nostalgia y esa nostalgia es a veces bien vacía. Uno se encuentra con gente que organiza asados para recordar un tiempo como si ese tiempo hubiera sido bueno y lo hubiéramos pasado bien.

“En cuanto a Pinochet, para mí era un personaje de la televisión que conducía un programa sin horario fijo, y lo odiaba por eso, por las aburridas cadenas nacionales que interrumpían la programación en las mejores partes. Tiempo después lo odié por hijo de puta, por asesino, pero entonces lo odiaba solamente por esos intempestivos shows que mi papá miraba sin decir palabra (…)”. Una novela en la que ser hijo no fuera una excusa. Una novela en la que ser padre no fuera una excusa.

-No sé si lo logré, pero lo que quería era escribir una novela en la que nadie fuera inocente.

-¿Y ahora qué sos, en mayor medida: crítico, lector, narrador, poeta?

-O sea, lo que más soy… O sea… Ahora soy alguien que hace muchísimo rato necesita ir al baño. Discúlpame.

New Spanish Language Fiction of Note for Spring

El Pais has a two post overview of the new and noteworthy books of spring. There are some big names, probably the most famous is Javier Marias and Jorge Volpi who has had three early novellas reissued by Paginas de Espuma, and Alejandro Zambra. An authors of note not available in English of note is Rosa Montero with her book Lágrimas en la lluvia (link to El Pais). I don’t recognize many of the other authors but a few sound interesting. Read the posts here and here.

This one caught my eye, mostly because I can’t seem to get enough of short stories these days.

Cuentos rusos (Mondadori), de Francesc Seres (Zaidin, España, 1972). En 2008  obtuvo con el libro de cuentos La fuerza de la gravedad  varios premios. La traducción al español de este nuevo título también viene precedida de premios importantes en Cataluña. Me remito a un pasaje de la crítica de Lluis Satorras en Babelia: “Es uno de sus mejores libros que se compone de historias cortas pero posee una unidad fundamental, una estructura muy definida, como un raudo travelling hacia el pasado mediante la lectura de unos cuentos de supuestos autores rusos, de ahora y de muchos antes. Para dar fuste a sus propósitos, el autor construye una maquinaria precisa aunque ligera, un par de prólogos, uno de la supuesta traductora y antóloga rusa, espejo en el que se miran los relatos que vendrán a continuación, y otro del propio Serés, testimonio vital y entusiasta. Y no faltan las falsas biografías de los supuestos autores, un procedimiento ya bien arraigado en nuestras literaturas. Todo ello proporciona un plus de verosimilitud al conjunto y casi podemos creernos que estamos leyendo una pequeña historia de la literatura rusa”.

Alejandro Zambra Interview at the Millions

The Millions has a moderate length interview with Alejandro Zambra. There is a little bit about the Granta inclusion, his new book, and what he has thought of being published in English and Spanish at the same time.

TM: Recognizing that any list like Granta’s will be subjective, is there anyone you feel strongly should have been included, but wasn’t?

AZ: Such lists are always arbitrary, and I suppose there are a lot of authors who were worth including in Granta’s, and in the end were not.  The truth is it’s an uncomfortable subject for me, because I really don’t believe in lists or rankings.  In any case I’d like to highlight the work that younger people have been doing, such as the Chilean Diego Zúñiga or the Mexican Valeria Luiselli (the author of Papeles falsos, one of the best books I’ve read recently).

TM: Not many authors have their books published more or less simultaneously in Spanish and in English, but both La vida privada and Bonsai were.  I’m curious about how the experience is different in Chile and the U.S. How does your status as a native or foreigner affect how people read you, do you think?  Do you feel more pressure to be “representative” in some way when you are outside of Chile?

AZ: I think both novels are very Chilean, so I’m sometimes surprised that they can be read in other languages.  To me, it’s a beautiful thing that readers so distant and different can connect with a book of mine.  It’s like sending out thousands of letters, and little by little receiving replies you never expected.  I guess some readers in the U.S. or in France want to confirm some prior idea they had about Chile or about Latin America.  But books aren’t made to confirm ideas; they’re made to refute them, to question them, to put other images out there where we thought everything had already been said.

Review of New Alejandro Zambra Book of Essays at Letras Libres

Letras Libres has a favorable review of Alejandro Zambra’s new book of essays No Leer/Cronicas Y Ensayos Sobre Literatura. I don’t know if I’ll ever read it, but it is an interesting view into some of his interests. I’m especially intrigued by his selection of American authors he writes about. I usually don’t see too many people mentioning Edgar Lee Masters, and yet it comes up in a Chilean’s essay on American lit. It is always interesting to see what American authors find an audience in other languages.

En la primera sección, la más variada, “Que vuelva Cortázar” va contra el gesto de moda pero fútil de sus contemporáneos argentinos de infravalorar y destituir al extravagante Cortázar. Además de poetas (de Shakespeare a Pessoa, Eliot y Pound) y Flaubert y Diderot, se concentra en narradores del yo como Levrero, Macedonio (“nuestro Sterne”) y Vila-Matas, preferencia esclarecida por su propia ficción y las minucias sobre el arte de escribir. Si la prosa no ficticia de muchos nuevos narradores deja mucho que desear, también es verdad que es inútil emplear el ensayo como excusa “literaria”. Zambra nos convence de no subestimar el propósito original de ese género.

Es evidente que consagra la primera sección a sus autores, obras y temas favoritos. También elogia las fotocopias sin pedantería académica, y dedica numerosos comentarios brillantemente comprimidos sobre autores estadounidenses (partiendo de la Spoon River Anthology, hasta Cheever y Carver) y cultura popular. Tampoco evita proveer información autobiográfica sobre su costumbre de leer en cualquier lado (“Festival de la novela larga”). Enterado, al día con la crítica especializada (Bloom, Derrida) o de autor (Kundera), ajusta cuentas con figuras mayores como Edwards, y con la “chilenidad”. La capacidad de Zambra para leer a través de los siglos, disciplinas, categorías y definiciones lo distancia de sus contemporáneos. No leer es un gps literario extremadamente oportuno, de un autor establecido que contiene multitudes a las que no se les puede hacer justicia en una reseña.

Granta’s Best Young Spanish Writers at Three Percent

The ever interesting blog Three Percent from Open Letter Books is publishing bios of all 22 of the writers featured in Granta’s Best young writers in Spanish. So far they have put up bios of Andres Barba and a short story in English, Andres Neuman, Carlos Labbe, Federico Falco, and Santiago Roncagliolo amongst others. Definitely worth following if you are interested.

I’ve always had a thing for Spanish literature. Not sure exactly why or how this started, although I do remember struggling my way through Cortazar’s “A Continuity of Parks,” thinking holy s— this can’t actually be what’s happening, then reading the English version, finding myself even more blown away and proceeding to devour his entire oeuvre over the course of the ensuing year. (The next tattoo I get will likely be a reference to either Hopscotch or 62: A Model Kit.)

There’s something special about the great Spanish-language works . . . They can be as philosophically complicated as the French (see Juan Jose Saer’s Nouveau Roman influenced novels), while still remaining very grounded, emotional (see all of Manuel Puig), and others represent the epitome of wordplay and linguistic gamesmanship (see Cabrera Infante’s Three Trapped Tigers).

Not trying to say that Spanish-language literature is better than that of other languages—I’m just trying to explain why I’m so drawn to it, why we published Latin American authors make up such a large portion of Open Letter’s list (Macedonio Fernandez, Juan Jose Saer, Alejandro Zambra, Sergio Chejfec, not to mention the Catalan writers, which, though vastly different in language, have a sort of kinship with their fellow Spanish writers). And why I read so many Spanish works in my “free time,” why I love Buenos Aires, the tango, etc. . . .

Regardless, when I found out that Granta was releasing a special issue of the “Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists,” I was psyched. (This really hits at the crux of my obsessions: Spanish literature and lists.) I tried to tease names from the forthcoming list out of the wonderful Saskia Vogel and the multi-talented John Freeman, but neither would give away any secrets. So when the list was finally announced, I was doubly pleased to see that six of the authors on there either already are published by Open Letter or will be in the near future.

Granta en español Announces Its Best Young Novelists in Spanish

Grant en español has announced their take on the best young novelists in Spanish. You can see a complete list plus links to interviews and other information at El Pais’s blog, Papeles Perdidos. Here is the list of names:

Andrés Barba (España), Oliverio Coelho (Argentina), Federico Falco (Argentina), Pablo Gutiérrez (España), Rodrigo Hasbun (Bolivia), Sonia Hernández (España), Carlos Labbé (Chile), Javier Montes (España), Elvira Navarro (España), Matías Néspolo (Argentina), Andrés Neuman (Argentina), Alberto Olmos (España) Pola Oloixarac (Argentina), Antonio Ortuño (México), Patricio Pron (Argentina), Lucía Puenzo (Argentina), Andrés Ressia Colino (Uruguay), Santiago Roncagliolo (Perú), Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), Andrés Felipe Solano (Colombia), Carlos Yushimito del Valle (Perú) y Alejandro Zambra (Chile).

I have heard of several of these writers and some are in English. I know I have read a story by Samanta Schweblin and I think I liked it. She had something in the Latin American issue of Zoetrope. I haven’t read Andres Nueman yet, and I’m a little disappointed I didn’t buy one of his books when I was in Barcelona; he was on my list. Alejandro Zambra has been translated into English. You can read both Bonsai and the Private Lives of Trees. Santiago Roncagliolo has one book in English and as I noted earlier this week he will be on El Publico Lee. Jorge Volpi has noted his writings as a way forward with the political novel. I don’t know about the rest of the authors, but I guess that will give me an excuse to read the issue.

Update:

Read about some of them in English.