Marcelo Cohen is an Argentine writer, translator and literary critic. He has managed to create his own literary territory, marked by a slight strangeness in customs and technological environment that makes us think of a parallel and close world in the future. He has published twelve novels, six story collections, and four essay books. Marcelo Cohen was born in Buenos Aires in 1951, studied letters at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Buenos Aires but did not finish his degree. At the end of 1975, he traveled to Spain, and decided to stay there because of the political climate in Argentina. During his long stay in Barcelona he was editor-in-chief of the cultural magazine El viejo topo. He has published reviews and articles in prestigious newspapers such as El País (Madrid) and La Vanguardia (Barcelona), as well as Clarín and Página 30 magazine in Buenos Aires. He directed an edition of the complete works of Shakespeare translated by Ibero-American writers, and is co-director of the literary and arts magazine Otra parte. He has translated over one hundred literature and essay books from English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Catalan. His translations include, among others, works by Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Jane Austen, Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Philip Larkin, A.R. Ammons, Wallace Stevens, Scott Fitzgerald, J.G. Ballard, William Burroughs, Italo Svevo, Raymond Roussel, Machado de Assis and Clarice Lispector. Cohen’s unusual prose has earned him the 2004 Konex Award: Novela Quinquenio 1999-2003 and the Critics’ Award for his novel Balada (2011).
Rodrigo Rey Rosa (born in Guatemala, 1958) is one of the most celebrated Spanish speaking writers of recent decades, a translator and a traveler. He has published ten novels, including The Pelcari Project (1991), The Good Cripple (1996) and The African Shore (1999); and more than six books of short stories, such as The Beggar’s Knife (1985), Lo que soñó Sebastián (What Sebastian Dreamt, 1994) and Dust on Her Tongue (2001). At age 18, after finishing high school in Guatemala, he toured Europe for a year. In 1979, due to the atmosphere of violence and tension in Guatemala, he left his studies in medicine and traveled to New York, to apply to the School of Visual Arts, where he studied film for two years until 1983. In 1980 he traveled to Morocco for the first time. There he met his close friend the American novelist and translator Paul Bowles, who translated his first three works into English. His works have also been translated into French, German, Dutch, Italian and Japanese. He returned to Guatemala at the beginning of the 1990’s and has been living there ‘on and off’ ever since, traveling to New York, Colombia, Spain, Morocco, Cuba, etc.
Translation is an important part in Rey Rosa’s creative work and he tends to alternate it and writing, in search of literary resources. He has translated authors such as Paul Bowles, Norman Lewis, Paul Léautaud and François Augiéras. He has also worked as a journalist and directed a feature film dedicated to Paul Bowles – what Sebastian dreamt – based on his 1994 novella (adapted to a script together with Robert Fitterman). The film participated in the 2004 Sundance Festival and the Berlin Film Festival.
Rodrigo Rey Rosa’s work has earned him a unanimous recognition and critical acclaim. He received the Guatemalan National Literature Prize Miguel Ángel Asturias 2004 and the Ibero-American Literature Prize José Donoso 2015. His most recent novel – Material Humano – was published in 2017.
Krina Ber was born in Poland, in 1948. She is a writer and an architect. She grew up in Israel, studied in Lausanne, Switzerland and married in Portugal before settling in 1975 in Caracas, Venezuela. She began her writing career in the year 2000, in the narrative workshop of the Andrés Bello Catholic University, directed by the writer Eduardo Liendo. She obtained a master’s degree in comparative literature at the Central University of Venezuela in 2007. She has published six books, all of them in Spanish, and has won the Monte Ávila Editors Award for Unpublished Works 2005 – narrative mention, the National Short Story Contest 2007 and the XI Literary Biennial “Daniel Mendoza” of Ateneo de Calabozo Library (2005), among others.
Silvina Ocampo (1903-1993) was an Argentine writer, storyteller and poet. She was born in Buenos Aires to a family deeply rooted in Argentine cultural circles. She was the sister of writer and founder of Sur magazine, Victoria Ocampo, wife of the writer Adolfo Bioy Casares and a friend of Jorge Luis Borges. For much of her life, her figure was overshadowed by theirs, but over time she gained recognition as a fundamental author of twentieth century Argentine literature. She has published ten poetry books, three novels and eight books of short narrative, among them The Topless Tower (1986) and Where There’s Love, There’s Hate (1946, co-written with Bioy Casares). Although she gained recognition as a poet, her greatest achievements were in the field of narrative fiction. Her stories express a corrosive criticism of the social conventions of her time and describe a unique, disturbing fantastical atmosphere: a world where strange events overwhelm mundane bourgeois reality, where motives are obscure, and where a great cruelty presides over life. Silvina Ocampo died in Buenos Aires. After her death, unpublished writings by her were found and published in five volumes, between 2006 and 2010.
Liliana Lara is a Venezuelan writer. She was born in Caracas, in 1971. She has published two books of short fiction: Los jardines de Salomón (2008 and 2014) and Trampa – jaula (2015). Her first book has won the prize for narrative of the XVI José Antonio Ramos Sucre Literary Biennial in Venezuela. Stories and articles by her have been translated into English, German and Polish, and have appeared in various periodicals and anthologies. Liliana Lara is a PhD in Ibero-American Literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and currently lives in Israel.
*Photo: Jacqueline Zilberberg.
Juan Sebastián Cárdenas is a Colombian writer and translator. He was born in Popayán, Cauca, in 1978. He moved to Madrid in 1998, where he has worked as a reader, editor and proofreader for several publishing houses. He studied Philosophy at the Javeriana University of Bogotá and, after moving to Spain, at the Complutense University of Madrid. He has published one book of stories and five novels, among them Los estratos (2013) winner of the Otras Voces, Otros Ámbitos Award 2014. His texts on popular culture, literature and contemporary art have been published in literary magazines such as Letras Libres, Artecontexto, Número and University of Antioquia Review. Cárdenas currently works as a translator for different Spanish publishers. Among his most notable translations are authors such as William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Gordon Lish, David Ohle, J. M. Machado de Assis and Eça de Queirós.
Eduardo Berti is an Argentinian writer and journalist, born in Buenos Aires in 1964. An acclaimed and award-winning author, Berti has published four collections of short fiction, among them his debut work Los pájaros (The Birds,1994) winner of a Grant-Award from Cultura Magazine and La vida imposible (The Impossible Life, 2002), winner of the Libralire-Fernando Aguirre Prize. He has also published six novels, among them, La mujer de Wakefield (Wakefield’s Wife, 1999), finalist in the prestigious Fémina Prize for Best Book from Overseas, Todos los Funes (All the Funes, 2005) finalist of the Herralde Prize, and El país imaginado (The Imagined Country, 2011) winner of the Emecé Prize and Las Americas prize. Berti moved to Paris in 1998, where he taught courses in writing, worked as a cultural journalist, a correspondent for different media outlets and a scriptwriter. He received several awards (among them the Martin Fierro) for the production of documentaries on Argentine popular music, and published two journalistic essay books on the subject: one in collaboration with Argentine singer and composer Luis Alberto Spinetta, and another dedicated to analyzing the evolution and characteristics of Argentine rock. In recent years, Berti has combined his creative work with translations of authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gustave Flaubert, Elizabeth Bowen and Jane Austen. He has published seven anthologies, and written for Buenos Aires’ major newspapers, such as La Nación, Clarín and Pagina/12. Some of his works have been translated into French, English, Portuguese, Hebrew, Korean and Japanese. Since 2014, Berti has been a member of the Oulipo group (Alongside Georges Perec, Italo Calvino and Marcel Duchamp, among others). His recent novel, Un padre extranjero (A Foreign Father), was published in 2016.
Margarita Leoz Munilla is a Spanish philologist, literary critic, poet and writer. She was born in Pamplona in 1980. She holds a degree in French Philology from the University of Salamanca (2002) and in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature from the University of Barcelona (2004). In 2008 she published her first book of poetry, El telar de Penélope. She has collaborated in cultural magazines and in local radio and television programs, and her literary work has won many prizes for young writers. Her first book of stories, Segunda residencia, has been published in 2012.
Miguel Serrano Larraz is a Spanish writer, poet and translator, born in Zaragoza, in 1977. He studied Physical Sciences and Hispanic Philology. He has published three books of poetry and three novels, among them Autopsia (2013), winner of the Estado Crítico de Novela Prize 2015. Larraz has published two books of short stories: Órbita (2009), which placed him in the front line of the writers of his generation, and Réplica (2017). His stories have been included in some of the most important Spanish language short narrative anthologies of the last decade.
Andrea Jeftanovic Avdaloff is a Chilean writer. Born in Santiago in 1970, she is considered one of the most prominent authors of her country. She is the author of the novels Escenario de Guerra (2000) and Geografía de la lengua (2007), and of two volumes of short stories: No aceptes caramelos de extraños (2013) and Destinos errantes (2016). Of Jewish and Serbian ancestry, Jeftanovic grew up among three religions – Russian Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish. She studied sociology at the Catholic University in Santiago de Chile and in 2005 she finished a doctorate in Hispano-American literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Jeftanovic is not afraid of controversy, and sees art as “a space for moral experimentation”. She has received several awards, including the Chilean Art Critics Circle Award and the National Book and Reading Council Award. Her work has been translated into several languages and it appears in foreign as well as national anthologies. She is a researcher at the University of Santiago, teaches literary workshops at the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center among others, and writes about theater for El Mercurio newspaper.