Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds
Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there's no going back.

Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages - one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld
In this grippingly original novel Yuri Herrera explores the actual and psychological crossings and translations people make--with their feet, in their minds, and in their language as they move from one country to another, especially when there's no going back.

The Optimist’s Words

Praise for the book: 
"Yuri Herrera must be a thousand years old. He must have travelled to hell, and heaven, and back again. He must have once been a girl, an animal, a rock, a boy, and a woman. Nothing else explains the vastness of his understanding." ~Valeria Luiselli, author of Faces in the Crowd

"Yuri Herrera is Mexico’s greatest novelist. His spare, poetic narratives and incomparable prose read like epics compacted into a single perfect punch – they ring your bell, your being, your soul. Signs Preceding the End of the World delivers a darkly mythological vision of the U.S. as experienced by the “not us” that is harrowing and fierce. The profoundly dignified, mind-boggling Makina, our guide and translator, is the heroine who redeems us all: she is the Truth.’ Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name

"Herrera never forgets the turbulent and moving humanity of his protagonist: adroit, angry, ineluctable, Makina is destined to become one of the essential characters of Mexico’s new literature…Herrera creates a radically new language […] and condenses into a few pages what other authors need hundreds to convey." ~Jorge Volpi, author of In Search of Klingsor

"Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World is a masterpiece, a haunting and moving allegory about violence and the culture built to support and celebrate that violence. Of the writers of my generation, the one I most admire is Yuri Herrera." ~Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles

"Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera confirms his status as a storyteller skilled at creating intense storylines and using original language. It is as adept at depicting wretched conditions as it is of elevating the humble and everyday to symbolic dimensions. And that symbolism, to be sure, has something of the Kafkaesque." ~Arturo García Ramos, ABC

‘It’s fair to say that Yuri Herrera follows in the footsteps of compatriot Juan Rulfo, perhaps the master par excellence of creating limbos, spectral spaces in which the characters—real Schrödinger’s cats—reside halfway between the living and the dead." ~Javier Moreno, Quimera

"The book amazes with the precise and persuasive beauty of its words. New words are created or transformed in order to tell what cannot be told." ~María José Obiol, El País

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