Gabriel Garcia Ochoa

The Hypermarket, an enigmatic and deeply uncanny novel, explores ‘mistranslation’ against the backdrop of Nietzsche’s philosophy of Eternal Return. Gabriel García Ochoa’s début novel transforms the Houghton Library at Harvard University into a Borgesian space. As the narrator is undertaking his research, he comes across an excerpt from a letter copied into an old diary. It details the lives of people living in a supernatural Hypermarket, ‘where the linoleum floor gives way to moss and a young, tender turf’. In a highly significant moment, the narrator rips out the pages and stores them in volume six of The Arabian Nights.

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At seventy-six, Paul Theroux drove from his home in Cape Cod to Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state. On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican road trip is his account of this adventure, at times misinformed, on occasions tedious, with moments of entertaining, well-researched discussions about the scintillating complexity of Mexico.

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ETA, a terrorist group formed in the late 1950s, was predominantly active in the Basque Country. Its name is an acronym in Basque for ‘Euskadi Ta Askatasuna’, which means ‘Basque Country and Freedom’. Fernando Aramburu’s Homeland is not the first novel to deal with the decades of ETA’s terror ...

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There appears to be a major problem with the story of Leonora Carrington’s life (1917–2011): it hasn’t been told enough. This may be because, as in the case of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Carrington is often overshadowed by the male Surrealist artists with whom she associated herself – especially her lover Max Ernst ...

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Translation can be an art or a craft; seldom simple, it is often unappreciated. We tend to forget that the global community of ceaseless interconnectivity could not exist without translation, or bilingualism. Without translation there is Babel, but with its quiet, endless grinding, translation brings down walls and creates porous ...

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Neruda ★★★1/2

Gabriel García Ochoa
Monday, 22 May 2017

In 1948, the Nobel Prize-winning poet and Chilean senator, Pablo Neruda, proud member of his country’s Communist Party, accused his government of treason for forging an alliance with the United States. Shortly after, Neruda went underground to escape arrest. For thirteen months ...

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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 ...

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The City of Palaces by Gabriel García Ochoa

Gabriel García Ochoa
Monday, 19 December 2016

Describing Mexico City without tripping over a cliché is not easy. Vibrant, colourful, dangerous, loud, exhilarating, rich in history and gastronomic delights, it’s all been ...

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Gabriel García Ochoa reports back from Mexico following the US election in his article 'The City of Palaces' which appears in the January-February issue of Australian Book Review. ...

The village of Tierra de Chá in Cristina Sánchez-Andrade’s novel The Winterlings feels a bit like Gabriel García Márquez’s Macondo, without the magic realism. It is a small community riddled with family secrets, desiccated aspirations, incest, and regrets. Located in Galicia, in north-western Spain, Tierra de Chá is full of succulent characters. Th ...

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