Yuri Herrera: More than being the themes, they are part of my fiction, they are the context in which the stories that concern me happen. I don’t think about them as themes that exist apart from the language in which they are told, the musicality that this language creates, or the conflicts that develop within these issues. The characters and the images are given birth concomitantly with the conflicts, which, by the way, are not always happening near the physical border (The Transmigration of Bodies happens in a place that has nothing to do with the physical border), although they can be situated in what I call the “border condition” (“lo fronterizo”), by which I understand things usually associated with the border but that can happen in other places: the exchange of goods and symbolic values, the creation of new identities, of new linguistic forms, of new political practices.
Born in Actopan, Mexico, Yuri Herrera studied in El Paso and took his PhD at Berkeley. Signs Preceding the End of the World (Señales que precederán al fin del mundo) was shortlisted for the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, is being published in several languages, and is his first to be translated in to English.
Yuri Herrera’s novel is a slim volume, and upon closing it I was bewildered at the effect of magnitude, of epic space and time evoked by the prose.