Tim Martin

  • Playing Dead

    “A scurvy thirst awoke him,” begins Lisa Dillman’s translation of Yuri Herrera’s new novel, The Transmigration of Bodies, as though someone had changed her settings to “English (Pirate).” It’s a deliberately confusing effect. Herrera’s short novels observe the violence of contemporary Mexico through a prism of fantasy, and their idiosyncratic language (a jumble of street chatter, high literary style, and archaic formulas) reflects their experimental form. In Signs Preceding the End of the World, he recast a narrative of illegal emigration from Mexico to America—a setting ripe for political