Shantytown by Cesar Aira (Chris Andrews, translator)

2. I never know what to expect when I crack open a new César Aira book.  It’s not always love at first sight.  Varamo grew on me over time.  The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira initially excited me, but now ranks as least favorite.  A reader on Trevor’s (of The Mookse & the Gripes) forums made the comment that in Spanish Aira tends to be … Continue reading Shantytown by Cesar Aira (Chris Andrews, translator)

Scars by Juan José Saer, translated from the original Spanish by Steve Dolph

Of all his novels and short stories, it is For Whom the Bell Tolls that showcases Ernest Hemingway’s signature brand of maudlin, alcohol-soaked sentimentality.  Yet it remains a great novel.  The closing paragraphs, as Robert Jordan says goodbye to his María, are among the most heartbreaking ever written. Yes, I believe it would have been better if Hemingway had just written their conversation in Spanish … Continue reading Scars by Juan José Saer, translated from the original Spanish by Steve Dolph

The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira by César Aira (Katherine Silver, translator)

César Aira is 63 years old.  He has been, and continues to be, insanely prolific.  Yet out of the 60+ books published in Spanish only eight have made their way into English.  New Directions has brought out approximately one a year since 2006.  The year 2012 was a banner one for Aira in the States – Varamo, a short story in The New Yorker and … Continue reading The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira by César Aira (Katherine Silver, translator)

All Fires The Fire and Other Stories by Julio Cortázar (Suzanne Jill Levine, translator)

My interest in Julio Cortázar was piqued when I discovered his novel Hopscotch.  At the front of it is a Table of Instructions.  The reader can choose to read one of two ways:  the first by progressing in the normal, linear fashion.  The second is to follow a key of numbers, corresponding to the chapter headings, which sends the reader jumping back and forth through … Continue reading All Fires The Fire and Other Stories by Julio Cortázar (Suzanne Jill Levine, translator)