Signs Preceding the End of the World opens in a small Mexican mining town, where Makina works as a switchboard operator and occasional messenger for underworld power brokers. Her newest assignment is to deliver a package across the border, which necessitates a harrowing journey but also provides the opportunity to search for her missing brother. Written in haunting, poetic prose and without the use of quotation marks, Herrera’s novel is a hard look at the realities and horrors of cross-border migration.
“Their gestures and tastes reveal both ancient memory and the wonderment of new people. And then they speak. They speak an intermediary tongue that Makina instantly warms to because it’s like her: malleable, erasable, permeable; a hinge pivoting between two like but distant souls, and then two more, and then two more, never exactly the same ones; something that serves as a link.”
Yuri Herrera is the author of several works of fiction, including Signs Preceding the End of the World and The Transmigration of Bodies (to be published in English in 2016). Born in Mexico, he currently teaches at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Length: 114 pages
Set in: Mexico
Translated by: Lisa Dillman
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