Tales of Heights and Depths
A dozen years ago, I read Cuentos de Cima y Sima in Spanish. I was struck by the imagery, lyricism, and natural dialogue, and began a translation to English. Later, while teaching at the American School in El Salvador, I became acquainted with the author’s grandson. We agreed that because Central American literature is almost unknown in the United States, it would be good to publish the Tales of Heights and Depths in English.
Humberto Ibarra, a Salvadoran journalist who was exiled to Guatemala, later became the ambassador to Chile and to Argentina. He also wrote a book of poetry as well as a novel that portrays Zacatecoluca, his hometown, and deals with social justice.
Guatemala is a land of enchantment, so it is not surprising to find zombies, witchcraft, and magic amid the Mayan ruins. I have chosen a pen name for my role as translator. Pax is my mother’s maiden name and seems to blend well with short Mayan surnames like Yoc and Tul.
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