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July/August 2020

The Indigenous Writing Project: Contemporary Guaraní Poetry

Image: Osvaldo Pitoe, Untitled (2020). Ink on paper.

Our July 2020 issue of contemporary Guaraní-language poetry marks the first installment in WWB's Indigenous Writing Projectan ongoing series that seeks to publish writers working in the world's many indigenous languages in direct translation into English. Though we have published indigenous literature throughout our seventeen-year history, the Indigenous Writing Project marks a sustained effort by the magazine to increase recognition of indigenous writers in the Anglophone world. In this effort, we have engaged experts and informants to ensure that literatures that live beyond the confines of Western culture are not unduly rendered through its prism or subjected to colonialist and nationalist discourses that seek to evaluate a literature's worth in juxtaposition to writing expressed in the dominant language of the country or region from which it comes. Our advisors allow us to publish translations directly from indigenous languages into English and ensure that in so doing we respect the nuances particular to indigenous worldviews or to the frequently oral nature of these literatures.
In the current selection, we present poetry whose concerns range from the quotidian to questions of life and death, translated from various dialects of Guaraní into English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Alba Eiragi Duarte and Miguelángel Meza contribute work from Mbyá Guaraní, while Susy Delgado and Alberto Luna add work from Jopara; Damián Cabrera contributes prose poetry originally written in Portunhol Selvagem, a Spanish, Portuguese, and Jopara hybrid. Guest editor Elisa Taber contributes an introduction. 
WWB would like to thank Susy Delgado, Alba Eiragi Duarte, and Miguelángel Meza for their translations from the Guaraní into Spanish and Delgado for her work as a cultural consultant providing expertise during the translation process. We also express our gratitude to translators Tracy K. Lewis, Susan Smith Nash, and Elisa Taber for their English translations from the original Guaraní.

Book Reviews

Fancy a Trip through (Other People’s) Misery? Yun Ko-Eun’s “The Disaster Tourist” Has You Covered

Reviewed by Lily Meyer

Tragedies become great business opportunities in this entertaining, if troubling, novel about a travel agency specializing in touristic excursions to disaster zones.

Humans Are the Ultimate Food Staple in Agustina Bazterrica’s Dystopian “Tender Is the Flesh”

Reviewed by Kevin Canfield

After a fatal virus infects its livestock, a panicked nation is herded by political demagogues toward human slaughter and cannibalism in this disturbing Argentinian novel.

Machado de Assis Gains Different Voices in New Translations of “Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas”

Reviewed by Charles A. Perrone

A deceased character writes his memoirs from beyond the grave in this sui generis classic by the Brazilian master, now published in two new editions that take divergent paths to convey its peculiar combination of "the pen of mirth" and "the ink of melancholy."

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