Deep Vellum Publishing
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"Carmen Boullosa is, in my opinion, a true master."—Alvaro Mutis

Part bildungsroman, part ghost story, part revenge novel, Before tells the story of a woman who returns to the landscape of her childhood to overcome the fear that held her captive as a girl. This powerful exploration of the path to womanhood and lost innocence won Mexico's two most prestigious literary prizes.

Carmen Boullosa, one of Mexico's leading writers, has published nearly twenty novels. Her most recent novel, Texas: The Great Theft, won the 2014 Typographical Era Translation Award and was shortlisted for the 2015 PEN Translation Award.

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About the author

Carmen Boullosa is one of Mexico's leading novelists, poets, and playwrights. She has published over a dozen novels, two of which were designated the Best Novel Published in Mexico by the prestigious magazine Reforma—her second novel, Before, also won the renowned Xavier Villarutia Prize for Best Mexican Novel; and her novel La otra mano de Lepanto was also selected as one of the Top 100 Novels Published in Spanish in the past 25 years. Her most recent novel, Texas: The Great Theft won the 2014 Typographical Era Translation Award, and was shortlisted for the 2015 PEN Translation Award. Boullosa has received numerous prizes and honors, including a Guggenheim fellowship. Also a poet, playwright, essayist, and cultural critic, Boullosa is a Distinguished Lecturer at City College of New York, and her books have been translated into Italian, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian.

Peter Bush is an award-winning literary translator of Spanish, Catalan, French, and Portuguese from the UK. A former director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, Peter became a professor of Literary Translation at Middlesex University and later the University of East Anglia.

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Additional Information

Deep Vellum Publishing
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Published on
Jul 11, 2016
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Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Magical Realism
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Carmen Boullosa
"Mexico's greatest woman writer."—Roberto Bolaño

"A luminous writer . . . Boullosa is a masterful spinner of the fantastic"—Miami Herald

An imaginative writer in the tradition of Juan Rulfo, Jorge Luis Borges, and Cesar Aira, Carmen Boullosa shows herself to be at the height of her powers with her latest novel. Loosely based on the little-known 1859 Mexican invasion of the United States, Texas is a richly imagined evocation of the volatile Tex-Mex borderland. Boullosa views border history through distinctly Mexican eyes, and her sympathetic portrayal of each of her wildly diverse characters—Mexican ranchers and Texas Rangers, Comanches and cowboys, German socialists and runaway slaves, Southern belles and dancehall girls—makes her storytelling tremendously powerful and absorbing.

Shedding important historical light on current battles over the Mexican–American frontier while telling a gripping story with Boullosa's singular prose and formal innovation, Texas marks the welcome return of a major writer who has previously captivated American audiences and is poised to do so again.

Carmen Boullosa (b. 1954) is one of Mexico's leading novelists, poets, and playwrights. Author of seventeen novels, her books have been translated into numerous world languages. Recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including a Guggenheim fellowship, Boullosa is currently Distinguished Lecturer at City College of New York.

Samantha Schnee is founding editor and chairman of the board of Words Without Borders. She has also been a senior editor with Zoetrope, and her translations have appeared in the Guardian, Granta, and the New York Times.

Carmen Boullosa
Luego de que Shears, un sheriff de Texas, ofendiera al terrateniente mexicano Nepomuceno, ambos se baten en un duelo. El sheriff resulta herido y los rangers buscarán venganza.

De Carmen Boullosa, autora de Duerme, Cielos de la tierra y Treinta años.

La pérdida de gran parte del territorio mexicano a manos de los estadounidenses en 1845 es recreada, a partir de un día de 1859, por la escritora mexicana Carmen Boullosa en su nueva novela, Texas.

La pérdida de la mitad del territorio mexicano era reciente. Tras la independencia de Texas, su anexión a Estados Unidos y la intervención estadounidense en México que desplazó al sur la frontera, los mexicanos de la región se encontraron con que ya vivían en otro país y enfrentaron la codicia de los norteamericanos.

Así las cosas, un día de 1859, en la ciudad fronteriza de Bruneville, Texas, el sheriff Shears insulta a Nepomuceno: "Cállate, grasiento pelado". El agraviado es un rico terrateniente mexicano, y el agresor un mal carpintero norteamericano que porta la insignia porque nadie más la quiere.

La noticia del insulto corre veloz por Bruneville, sube hasta el Río Nueces, incursiona la Apachería, también camina hacia el sur, cruza el río Bravo, pasa por la ciudad vecina (Matasánchez) y se sigue. Ambos desenfundan sus armas y Shears queda herido por un disparo de Nepomuceno, quien huye, cruza el río y acampa en territorio mexicano. Los odios apenas contenidos se desatan. Los rangers preparan la venganza. Un ejército de voluntarios variopintos se forma alrededor de Nepomuceno e invade Texas.

Lo que ha dicho la crítica:

"Carmen Boullosa nos narra magistralmente varias historias paralelas donde los personajes inmigrantes que hablan un poco de alemán, español, inglés, se entremezclan con la historia principal". -Jaime Luis Albores Téllez, Siempre!

"La escritura de Carmen Boullosa consigue que imaginemos y habitemos esos límites sin remedio quebradizos". -Juan José Reyes, Letras Libres.

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