“Music and Petals”

Gabriela Damián; Megan Berkobien ::

In the depths of my head the melody booms alongside a groan, deep and dry; the combination submerges me in a thick drowsiness. I feel so heavy that I sink, I feel like all of me is paralyzed, but the strangest part is that it’s not my body that can’t move, but me. And, yet, there I am, I see everything happening in front of me while the notes repeat themselves, while the terrible sensation of a never-ending fall tickles my legs, and the sensation that it’s me and not my body that’s submerged in a black well of heavy waters, the music taking hold of my hands, of my flesh… My brother puts his eternally idiotic face back on as he climbs the stairs. And it’s only at that point that I return from that darkness, from that death.

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“The Bridge”

Gabriela Damián; Megan Berkobien ::

I’m out in the open air, in the sun. The treetops are green and high up. I walk through tall grass, which whispers with the passing of a cool wind, almost cold, reminiscent of early spring. My grandparents’ house, where my aunt lived all her life, stands in front of me across a raging river that shines brightly in the daylight and throws its foamy bubbles along the rock bed. I near the bank to make sure that it can’t be crossed, for the water is colored topaz, warning of a risky depth. The iron door, whose twisted bars end in golden points, is closed. My aunt watches me from behind the iron bars. She has the same hairstyle as in my baby photos, the same scandalous-a-go-go makeup with false lashes that highlight her eyes, the same frozen smile. I know she’s dead.

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“You Shouldn’t Talk to Strangers”

Fernando Iwasaki; Megan Berkobien ::

I play a game with Agustin where he touches me and I touch him and I always win in the end because he can’t hold himself back. Mama is a worrywart. She says that if I talk to strangers, she’ll surely never see me again.

Read the rest of the selection here.

“Ne Me Quitte Pas”

Cristina Peri Rossi; Megan Berkobien ::

“I took hundreds of photos of her—of her standing, lying down, on one side of the bed, on the other, laughing, naked, dressed, in the street, in the bathtub, caressing a child or a cat. I photographed her breasts, her pubic hair, her armpits, the nape of her neck, and her legs,” the client answered, suddenly delighted. He seemed to have dispelled his anguish. “Those photos are my treasure, my private museum.”

Read the full story here.


An Interview with Margaret Jull Costa

Co-authored with Julia Sanches ::

JS/MB: Your keen sense of register and timbre expertly captured the ambient tensions in Seven Houses in France, especially considering you had to work with bits of French throughout. How did you go about translating for an audience that might not be familiar with the novel’s many languages? Is there a middle road between foreignization and domestication?

Read the full interview here.

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