The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman

Reviewed by
January–February 2017, no. 388
Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World' by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman

The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World

by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman

Text Publishing $29.99 pb, 240 pp, 9781925498240

The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman

Reviewed by
January–February 2017, no. 388

Mictlán, the underworld of Aztec mythology, is divided into nine regions, like Dante’s Inferno. Yuri Herrera’s novella, Signs Preceding the End of the World, opens with a symbolic doorway to that underworld: a sinkhole that swallows a man, a dog, and a couple of cars parked down the street, missing Mika, the protagonist, by a few steps.

Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of two novellas in this volume. Herrera belongs to a group of Mexican authors whose translated works are making headlines internationally (Valeria Luiselli, Álvaro Enrigue, Juan Villoro). To date he has published two children’s books, and three novellas. His first novella Trabajos del reino (to be published next year in translation as Kingdom Cons) tells the story of a talented singer and songwriter who falls under the dangerous patronage of a drug lord. Kingdom Cons received critical acclaim as an early example of what is now known in Mexico as ‘narcoliterature’, a subgenre that deals with the social and political issues that the drug wars have unleashed. The novella takes place in a border town, but the reader is never told exactly where. The text gravitates around the life and tribulations of a drug lord, but again, words that one would normally associate with such a setting are not present in the text.

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World' by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman

The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World

by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman

Text Publishing $29.99 pb, 240 pp, 9781925498240

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.