Gabriel García Ochoa

Gabriel García Ochoa was born in Mexico City. He teaches Spanish, Translation, and Comparative Literature at Monash University. He studied at Harvard University's Institute for World Literature, where his research focused on the works of Jorge Luis Borges. His first novel The Hypermarket was published in 2019.

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'Horizontal Vertigo: A city called Mexico' by Juan Villoro, translated by Alfred MacAdam

January–February 2022, no. 439 22 December 2021
Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'Horizontal Vertigo: A city called Mexico' by Juan Villoro, translated by Alfred MacAdam
In Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, the planet Trentor is the capital of the Galactic Empire. Seen from space, Trentor is nothing but city: there are no rivers, trees, or any other natural features, only an endless urban landscape, a metropolis that has taken over the planet. Landing in Mexico City feels like landing in Trentor: the size is overwhelming, and its apparent infinity challenges mos ... (read more)

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'On The Plain Of Snakes: A Mexican road trip' by Paul Theroux

March 2020, no. 419 30 January 2020
Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'On The Plain Of Snakes: A Mexican road trip' by Paul Theroux
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. From the outset, Theroux eschews tired tropes and delves into element ... (read more)

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'Homeland' by Fernando Aramburu, translated by Alfred MacAdam

June–July 2019, no. 412 23 May 2019
Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'Homeland' by Fernando Aramburu, translated by Alfred MacAdam
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. Other works, like Martutene (2012) by Ramón Saizarbitoria, also delved into the car bombs an ... (read more)

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington' by Joanna Moorhead

Online Exclusives 30 April 2018
Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington' by Joanna Moorhead
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 – or it may be because our understanding and appreciation of her geniu ... (read more)

Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

ABR Arts 12 February 2018
Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
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 cultures that cannot help but influence one another. The current ex ... (read more)

Neruda

ABR Arts 22 May 2017
Neruda
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 he fled from one clandestine safe house to the next. He grew a bushy beard and pretended to be an ornithologist, Antoni ... (read more)

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

January–February 2017, no. 388 20 December 2016
Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World' by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman
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 nove ... (read more)

The City of Palaces by Gabriel García Ochoa

January–February 2017, no. 388 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 said before. But one aspect of Mexico that is not often spoken about is its correspondences with Australia. Famously, the pre-Columbian ruins of Monte Albán and Chichén Itzá influenced architect Jørn Utzon’s design of ... (read more)

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Winterlings' by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade and translated by Samuel Rutter

December 2016, no. 387 29 November 2016
Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Winterlings' by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade and translated by Samuel Rutter
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. There is Little Ramón, the sailor who was ... (read more)

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes ushered in the modern world' by William Egginton

November 2016, no. 386 28 October 2016
Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes ushered in the modern world' by William Egginton
The four-hundredth anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes’s death serves as a good reminder of the influence and importance of his oeuvre, and perhaps too of our strange obsession with the decimal system. After all, Cervantes’s works will be as relevant next year as they were last, minus the fanfare. On the eve of this quatercentennary, William Egginton’s The Man Who Invented Fiction made a time ... (read more)
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