The Best of Contemporary Mexican Fiction

the best of contemporary mexican fictionRight Reading received this e-mail from Olivia Sears, president of the Center for the Art of Translation.

I hope you are all enjoying The Best of Contemporary Mexican Fiction. I wanted to send along some of the press the book has received. Martin Riker at Dalkey Archive Press has done a tremendous job of promoting the book.

There’s an excerpt from the book on the PEN website as part of their 2009 Translation Feature:

There’s a review on OMNIVORACIOUS,’s official blog, which is read by thousands of readers every day:

Another very positive review:

From the Latin American Review of Books:

And there have been numerous bloggers singing the book’s praises. Here are a few of those:

Advance reviews are also positive, such as this one in BOOKLIST (a publication that goes out to libraries around the US):

Feb. 2009. 562p. Dalkey Archive, hardcover. REVIEW. First published January 1, 2009 (Booklist).

Short-story fans hungry for something that doesn’t taste like it was cooked up in an MFA program workshop should take note of this anthology of contemporary Mexican writers. There’s great variety here, but what all 16 stories have in common are distinctive voices. For the most part eschewing realism, these stories are exuberant, playful, informal, and experimental, and may make some readers nostalgic for the years before U.S. fiction got so institutionalized. Standouts include Álvaro Enrigue’s “On the Death of the Author,” a metafictional account of the author’s attempts to tell the story of Ishi, the last Yahi Indian; Jorge F. Hernández’s “True Friendship,” about a man’s perfect but probably fictional best friend; and Juan Villoro’s hilarious “Mariachi,” the tale of analysand El Gallito de Jojutla, “the only mariachi star who has never sat on a horse.” Stories are printed in both Spanish and English on facing pages; bilingual readers will be able to judge the translations for themselves, and readers who only know English will at least be able to see the shape of the originals. — Keir Graff

I’m sorry to say that individual translators are only occasionally mentioned by name in these reviews, but given that this is often the case in reviews of novels (in which there’s only one translator to keep track of), I’m not terribly surprised they didn’t try to keep the 15 translators straight. I hope you will take the positive comments about your individual translations to heart. Thanks for being a part of this project.


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  1. I’ll bet that is supposed to read “Translation” there in your first sentence

  2. Fixed, thanks.