The Portable Museum - extraordinary and unexpected short stories by some of the best authors from Spain and Latin America
The Portable Museum: An Electronic Journal of Literature in Translation, Ox and Pigeon, 2012.
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The Portable Museum is Ox and Pigeon’s digital journal of literature in translation. With each issue, we seek to provide our readers with a sample of the best short stories from around the world. Our initial offering brings together four stories originally published in Spanish by authors from Spain and Latin America.
Fabio Morábito’s “The Mothers” is a surreal account of summer in the city, while Álvaro Bisama’s “Nazi Girl” takes a darkly humorous look into the conflicted mind of a very un-Aryan Chilean Nazi enthusiast as her life unravels. Antonio Ortuño shows why he was chosen by Granta as one of the best young writers working in Spanish today with “The Japanese Garden,” his wry account of a young man’s search for the girl his father paid to be his childhood sweetheart. Last but not least, the great Enrique Vila-Matas contributes “Loves That Last a Lifetime,” recounting an evening of chain smoking and familial tension as a young woman tries to convey the absurdly tragic (or tragically absurd) events of last weekend to her grandmother.
Álvaro Bisama (Valparaíso, Chile, 1975) is a professor of literature and writer. In 2007, he was chosen for the Bogota 39 list of Latin America´s best young authors.
Interview (English and Spanish): Interview with Álvaro Bisama at Nuevas Referencias
Interview (Spanish): Entrevista al escritor chileno Alvaro Bisama
Fabio Morábito (Alexandria, Egypt, 1955) was born in Egypt to Italian parents and has lived most of his life in Mexico. He is the author of three volumes of poetry and three short story collections. In 2009, he published his first novel, Emilio, Los Chistes y La Muerte.
Interview (English): The Importance of Style
Interview (Spanish): Fabio Morabito y los cuentos de grieta de fatiga
Antonio Ortuño (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1976) is the author of two books of short stories and two novels, one of which was a finalist for the prestigious Herralde Prize in 2007. He has been translated into half a dozen languages. In 2010, Granta magazine named him one of the best young authors writing in Spanish.
Article (English): Antonio Ortuno: Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists
Enrique Vila-Matas (Barcelona, Spain, 1948) is one of the most important living European authors. He has been translated into twenty-nine languages and received an array of major international prizes. Three of his novels are currently available in English from New Directions.
Interview (from the Paris Review): Enrique Vila-Matas on ‘Never Any End to Paris’
Article (English): Unraveling Enrique Vila-Matas’s Bartleby & Co. and Montano’s Malady
The Portable Museum: An Electronic Collection of Literature in Translation, Ox and Pigeon, 2013.
In The Portable Museum, readers will discover extraordinary and unexpected short stories by some of the best authors from Spain and Latin America:
Hebe Uhart brings her astute observational skills and dry humor to bear on the world of academia in provincial Argentina in "The Event Planner." "The Boarding House," by Uruguayan cult favorite Mario Levrero, chronicles a young man's search for independence in prose as labyrinthine and strange as his quirky, and sometimes unsettling, home. Javier Sáez de Ibarra's "The Gift of the Word" skillfully weaves a common thread through the stories of a mother-to-be, a fifth-century religious hermit, a deceitful husband, Franz Kafka, and more. In "Conversation by the Pond," Dany Salvatierra infuses the tale of a severely dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship with his delightfully dark humor, while Juan Villoro's "Mariachi" brings readers along on a Mexican folksinger's hilarious misadventures in European indie filmmaking as he attempts to escape his fate as a national stereotype.
Mario Levrero (born Jorge Mario Varlotta Levrero, Uruguay, 1940-2004) was a photographer, bookseller, comic writer, humorist, and author of crosswords and brainteasers. He hated interviews and loved mystery novels and film. Although a cult author during his lifetime, it was not until after his death that he came to be regarded as a major Latin American literary figure.
Interview (Spanish): Técnicas de escritura/Arte poética, from the book Conversaciones con Mario Levrero by Pablo Silva Olazábal
Javier Sáez de Ibarra (Spain, 1961) is a high school literature professor. With his wife, Viviana Paletta, he has curated twenty anthologies in Spanish for the publisher Páginas de Espuma. His short story collection Mirar al agua (Watching the Water) won the First International Ribera del Duero Short Story Prize in 2009.
Article (English): Javier Sáez de Ibarra Wins the First International Prize for Short Stories
Interview (Spanish): Entrevista a Javier Sáez de Ibarra
Dany Salvatierra (Peru, 1980) lives between Lima, Madrid, and Boston with his partner. The first edition of his short story collection, Terapia de grupo (Group Therapy, 2010), sold out in only six months. In 2012, he published his first novel, El síndrome de Berlín (The Berlin Syndrome), which was voted Best Novel of the Year by the readers of the newspaper “El Comercio.” The first edition sold out in just eight months.
Video and interview (Spanish): “¿Por qué debemos escribir siempre de los mismos temas?”
Hebe Uhart (Argentina, 1936) has published sixteen works: eleven short story collections, three novellas, and two travel chronicles. Her 2011 collection of short stories Relatos reunidos (Collected Stories) won the Premio Fundación El Libro al Mejor Libro Argentino de Creación Literaria.
Interview (video in Spanish): Entrevista a Hebe Uhart
Story (English): “Guiding the Ivy” by Hebe Uhart, translated by Maureen Shaughnessy at Asymptote Journal
Juan Villoro (Mexico, 1956) is currently a professor of literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and has been a visiting professor at Princeton, Yale, Boston University, and Universitat Pompeu Fabra. He has received awards for his work as a fiction writer, essayist, author of children’s books, and his translations from German and English.
Interview (English): A Conversation with Juan Villoro at World Literature Today
Story (English): “Holding Pattern” by Juan Villoro, translated by Lisa M. Dillman at Words Without Borders