Saturday, September 6, 2008


I discovered this book quite accidentally as I was searching for Chuck Palahniuk's books at the library. What a serendipitous find! "No Man's Land" is a collection of translated short stories written by Mexican author, Eduardo Antonio Parra and published by City Lights Publishing right here in San Francisco.

These gritty short stories take place in the cities and deserts of Northern Mexico where humanity is often stretched to its unbearable limits. Poverty, corruption, sex and cold-hearted violence paint a background canvas for portraits of characters who struggle and suffer immeasurably for the chance of a better life.

Parra's hardcore writing style is brutally yet beautifully descriptive, like a car crash in slow motion(in fact, one story is indeed about an auto wreck). No human act of depravity is too taboo for Para to explore in this world where horror and hope are perpetually intertwined. I highly recommend this book if you can find it. It doesn't seem like there is much fanfare but I hope that more of Parra's work is translated soon!!

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