Magazine article New Internationalist

The Transmigration of Bodies

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Transmigration of Bodies

Article excerpt

The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman (& Other Stories, ISBN 9781908276728)

Reviewing Mexican author Yuri Herrera's Signs Preceding the End of the World last year, I marvelled at how he created a whole world teeming with living, breathing characters in a few short chapters. In his latest novella, a pulp thriller of sorts, he has surpassed that achievement, with the additional complication that two of the central characters are, in fact, dead.

The Transmigration of Bodies is set in an unnamed city struck by plague. People are afraid to venture out of their houses and society is on the brink of collapse. In this febrile atmosphere, two rival crime families have a crisis which demands careful handling. Each family has a body belonging to the other and, although the deaths were caused by plague and not gang violence, trust is rock-bottom and an exchange needs to be brokered. …

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