Thursday, July 21, 2016

Line of Fire: Detective Stories from the Mexican Border

The compilation of detective stories from SDSU Press’ Baja California Literature in Translation publication series, Line of Fire: Detective Stories from the Mexican Border, features non-orthodox takes on a genre that has been popular in the Latin American literary tradition. Names like Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño have been celebrated as important figures that have paved the way for the detective novel, and as the genre continues to develop, SDSU Press has captured short detective stories taking place in Baja California and its surrounding areas. The stories that form part of Line of Fire were originally published in Spanish in En la línea de fuego: Relatos policiacos de frontera and are written by Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz, Héctor Daniel Gómez Nieves, Leobardo Saravia Quiroz, Edgar Gómez Castellanos, José Manuel Di Bella, Carlos Martín Gutiérrez , Federico Campbell, Harry Polkinhorn, and Sergio Gómez Montero.

The English version of these stories, published by SDSU Press and edited by Leobardo Saravia Quiroz, whose own story is also included in the book, has opened the door of accessibility to a greater audience. Saravia Quiroz comments on the divergence from more conventional forms of the detective story that is clear in Line of Fire, “An indifference towards reason and justice prevails: the entirely modern ‘banality of evil.’ This is one difference from the conventions of the genre.” With the introduction setting the way and the “banality of evil” present in the stories that follow, the reading experience of Line of Fire will have you stepping into worlds of confusion, mystery, and unsolved endings set in the border regions of the US and Mexico. Filled with thoughts and images of paranoia, longing, belonging, betrayal, sounds of music and of bullets, you are bound to become immersed in the Mexican borders portrayed in each story that forms Line of Fire.

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