Signs Preceding the End of the World, Yuri Herrera
Yuri Herrera

Signs Preceding the End of the World

82 printed pages
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Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. ri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages – one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.
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They are homegrown and they are anglo and both things with rabid intensity; with restrained fervor they can be the meekest and at the same time the most querulous of citizens, albeit grumbling under their breath. Their gestures and tastes reveal both ancient memory and the wonderment of a 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.
how it was that some things in the world—some countries, some people—could seem eternal when everything was actually like that miniature ice palace: one-of-a-kind, precious, fragile.
She asked for the bathroom. There were just two per floor, one for women and one for men. She went into the women’s to take the shower she’d been needing the whole long road from the Big Chilango. She’d barely been able to take birdbaths at the gas stations. She’d scrubbed her armpits, neck, and face, taken off her pants to shake them out. Once she was almost left behind because she took so long drying herself at the hand dryer. Now she could finally wash all over, and didn’t mind that there was no hot water in the hotel shower; it was the same in her hometown
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