My translation comes from my library haul earlier this week. Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera was translated from its original Spanish. There’s a chapter at the end by the translator who goes into great detail about the importance of getting it right to capture the beauty of Herrera’s prose.
A native of Mexico, Herrera’s story is about a young woman who crosses the border to find her brother and give him a letter from their mother. We hear about her journey and the difficulty she has finding an illegal immigrant in a land where people like her are hated and discriminated against.
It was written in a style that reminded me of Cormac McCarthy. It lacked the common punctuation that made it easy to follow dialogue. You had to read carefully to not miss anything. I wonder if something was lost in translation that made it easier to follow in Spanish or if it was similar for that audience as well.
For a small tale it was very poetic and memorable. There is a part toward the end with a poem that was very powerful. I was very surprised at the ending. When all you want is to go home, life throws you a curve ball. 3.5 out of 5 stars.