The rarest of novels, one in which technical brilliance is matched by the most socially relevant subject imaginable: a young Mexican woman crossing the border into America. Recommended By Jason C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last 10 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.
"Herrera's writing is poetic and defamiliarizing; translator Lisa
Dillman has done well to capture his neologisms, which shift the setting
into the surreal....In this legend-rich book, to immigrate is to enter
forever the land of the shades." Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
"Short, suspenseful...outlandish and heartbreaking." New York Times
"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
About the Author
Born in Actopan, Mexico, in 1970, Yuri Herrera's Signs Preceding the End of the World is being published in a number of languages, as is The Transmigration of Bodies, which is forthcoming in English from And Other Stories in 2015. He teaches at the University of Tulane, in New Orleans.
Lisa Dillman is a US translator based in Atlanta, Georgia, where she translates Spanish, Catalan and Latin American writers and teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University.