Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Peruvian Literature"

How Does It Feel? We May Never Know

After last week’s startling prize announcement comes another surprise: the Nobel committee has yet to make contact with their anointed one. But as the Swedish Academy sends out a search party for their reluctant literature laureate, you can find Bob Dylan—or at least his influence—lurking in any number of WWB pieces. One, Enrique Prochazka’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” from our September 2015 Peruvian issue, borrows a title and...

Three

I never got the knack of fidelity. Ever since I first experienced pleasure outside the four walls of our tacky bathroom, I’ve continually violated the most sacred pacts of love. At first I put this down to my lack of character or inability to assert my desires in relation to an Other, to have some coherence in my life. How could I enjoy properly transgressive sex without sacrificing Sunday movie nights and breakfasts in bed? How could I keep the excitement of a secret rendezvous but...

Lessons for a Boy Who Arrived Late, Part III

This is the third installment in a three-part fiction serial of Peruvian writer Carlos Yushimito's short story "Lessons for a Boy Who Arrived Late," translated by Valerie Miles. You can read the first installment here and the second installment here.   5. The day the farming truck crushed Papá’s car the hunting had been bountiful; the marmalade jar had struck and stirred up the tight body of an earthworm colony. We trapped at least fifty of them but I had to...

Storm in the Andes: A Country’s Journey through Hell

Translated by Anna Heath It’s Saturday afternoon and I receive a call from a friend of mine. He’s a Peruvian who, despite living in London for more than a decade, still expects to meet up with me at only an hour’s notice. This man has been known to show up unannounced at people’s houses. “In two hours there’ll be a film over near your place,” he says. “Would you like to come?” “I’ll be there, Siveroni,” I say. I...

Words Without Borders Announces Its September 2015 Issue Dedicated to Peruvian Writing

New York City, New York, September 3, 2015—Words without Borders, the online magazine for international literature, announces the release of its September issue: “Geography of the Peruvian Imagination.” Peru is a country of topographical extremes that reveal themselves in the literature. From the Andes to the Amazon and back to the gritty urban reality of Lima, the writing here traces a new geography of Peruvian literature. Independent Foreign Fiction Prize-winner...

Geography of the Peruvian Imagination

Peru is one of the truly enchanting, enigmatic places on earth, and Lima—its gritty, vibrant capital of ten million—one of the hottest literary and gastronomical scenes in Latin America today. In 2006, Simon Romero wrote in the New York Times about two Peruvian writers who had recently won significant Spanish literary prizes, Santiago Roncagliolo and Alonso Cueto (who will have a piece in a future issue of WWB dedicated to gastronomy), and in a tone of cautious optimism pointed...

Living with the Beast

  Wilfredo Inuma is the chief of an indigenous Amazonian community. But above all, he is the guardian of the lavatory. Wilfredo founded the Shipibo community of Bena Gema twelve years ago, together with 150 families fleeing the misery of the jungle. They settled in the outskirts of the city of Pucallpa, capital of the Peruvian region of Ucayali. They wanted schools for their children. And jobs. Wilfredo has worked guarding oil company facilitiess against attacks by locals. He has...

Like a Rolling Stone

The fat man was interesting. A tourist, of course, who had only come to Qoyllur Rit’i to rubberneck. Zimm had seen him on previous days down on the plain below the ice, walking around the campsites set up most recently on the Sinakara depression. There was no mistaking his shape; Zimm figured he must weigh at least three hundred pounds, which ruled him out as a typical festival pilgrim. Plus, the fat man hadn’t brought altar candles with him up to the still night-darkened ice,...

A Sign

On the first attempt, the trigger jammed. The prisoner wasn’t afraid, and in fact felt a sort of indifference that seemed, in light of the brutality of the instant, to have been there all along, his whole life, quietly lurking behind each of his experiences as though awaiting the ideal moment to surface. Behind him, the footsteps of the soldier, his executioner, rang out: rapid-fire, ready to finish off the job. Then the cold of the steel touched the back of his head for the second...

At Peace

“We die from the moment we’re born, but only say we die when we’ve reached the end of that process, and sometimes that end lasts an awfully long time.” Thomas Bernhard, Breath Mariana Speranza! It’s been four years since I last heard my name. I’d almost forgotten what it sounded like. Someone knocks on the door three times. The last time I heard it was on a Thursday, four years ago, as I was leaving the office. It was my last day of work. I resigned. I...

1-02

I cut my sister’s hair today the locks fell like huge tears against the baseboards I swept it up and tossed it in the trash All that dead hair has filled my dreams One day I dreamt of dead hair  The strands all joined back together They ganged up and demanded I account for my sad deed I was silent, dumbstruck The dead hair insisted: Are you there? Why did you butcher me? I gathered up the hair and my sister’s face appeared floating in the distance Why did you throw my hair...

Lessons for a Boy Who Arrived Late

1 We sensed that a shadow had caressed the door, but it couldn’t be the cat. My sister Candelaria was the first to notice it. She stopped playing the piano nearly at the same time. I had been observing a colossal painting that hung on the wall of the salon, feeling somnolent from the lesson’s stammering repetition. The painting was of a nude woman reclining beside a grotto, scarcely veiled by the modesty of her hair, one of her hands fallen to her side, like a leaf. I found it...

The Shower

At first she stared at the window for a while, as her life paraded past in scenes: her mother’s house in Piura, the silent sun high over Piura’s dusty rooftops, which bristled with aluminum antennas marking the luminously streaked sky. Her mother’s house that smelled of Bolívar soap and rue plants beneath the gold sun that hung in the taut, infinite sky. She missed it all, but she was in Paris and there was nothing she could do about it. That was the harsh truth....

Lindbergh

So it all boils down to this. A whole morning seeing my face and Paulo’s on the television screen. Ten reporters camped out at the entrance to the building. Three policemen on phone-tap duty, reading the soccer pages in the dining room. They might get in touch at any moment. Waiting is all that’s left for me. I’ve called Lucía to tell her that, obviously, I won’t be doing the program today. She started to cry. This can’t be happening to you, she...

Frail Before the Squalor

Frail before the squalor             squalor being a feeble answer the everyday self gives its own abjections it surprises me to be in a city whose name like the humidity that clings to its ancient walls or like its tubercular pigeons means nothing to me any more than being inside its plastic image as I sink into La Defense or lose myself in the ardor of its past      oh the purity the freshness of withered things...

A Trip through Ayahuasca

Audio courtesy of Literatura Sonora. We look like funerary bundles dug out of our graves. There are ten or twelve people sitting on the room’s floor, in a circle, and in the dark. The healer is at the center. He is smoking a mapacho—tobacco typically found in the forests of Peru—and exhales the smoke above the rim of a bottle filled with a viscous liquid. He takes a sip, and then calls us one by one. I’m afraid. Those who have taken ayahuasca before say the...

The Age of Acurio

I grew up in a country at war. I still remember clearly a month in 1990 in which twelve bombs exploded near my house in Lima, one every two or three days. Peru was living through its worst years of violence, and the Shining Path—the dangerous terrorist group that controlled a large part of the Andean region—had succeeded in descending from the mountains to the coast, and was very close to dealing the final blow. Lima, at the edge of the sea, was preparing for a siege by the...

Interview with Jesús Cossio

In the last few years, many writers, filmmakers and artists have undertaken the task of reconstructing the period of political violence in Peru of the 1980s and 90s. The various representations explore different perspectives on the conflict, oftentimes challenging the official version of the events while discussing human rights violations committed by both terrorist groups and the Peruvian armed forces and intelligence services.  Jesús Cossio has been very involved in the...

To Troy, Helen

                         The two lay down together on the bed. Atreus's son paced through the crowd, like a wild beast, searching for some glimpse of godlike Alexander.   Iliad, book 3: 284ff.   I parked the car four blocks beyond the house. Felt like I was following a plan that I had rehearsed a hundred times. What sense did it make? Helen would not know I had come, did not even know I was on my...

Music, Maestro Berenson, and Yours Truly

Father cultivated in us an appreciation for classical music from an early age, playing Bach fugues, Mozart sonatas, and Chopin nocturnes on his old wind-up Victrola with a steel needle and humming arias from Italian operas in his weak but melodious tenor voice. But Father died quite young, taking to his grave his culture of musical passion and breaking off our musical education, which would have faded away and possibly been extinguished altogether had it not been for Teodorito and, above...

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.