Augusto Monterroso is widely known for short stories characterized by brilliant satire and wit. Yet behind scathing allusions to the weaknesses and defects of the artistic and intellectual worlds, they show his generous and expansive sense of compassion.
This book brings together for the first time in English the volumes Complete Works (and Other Stories) (Obras completas [y otros cuentos] 1959) and Perpetual Motion (Movimiento perpetuo 1972). Together, they reveal Monterroso as a foundational author of the new Latin American narrative.
Augusto Monterroso is the internationally renowned author of nine books, including The Black Sheep and Other Fables. A resident of Mexico since 1956, he won the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize, Mexico's highest literary honor, in 1975.
Edith Grossman is an award-winning translator of contemporary Latin American literature. Her recent publications include Strange Pilgrims and Of Love and Other Demons, by Gabriel García Márquez, and Maqroll and The Adventures of Maqroll, by Alvaro Mutis.
"Sophisticated wit and playful surrealist fantasy dominate these ingenious and gently mocking tales, by a Guatemalan-born soul mate to the late Jorge Luis Borges. This first English translation of Monterroso's work offers the contents of his two published collections, Complete Works and Other Stories (1959) and Perpetual Motion (1972). They're a monument, if that isn’t the wrong word, to this entertaining author’s trademark 'concision and wit.'"
"Monterroso is certainly the leading living Guatemalan writer. . . . His microcuentos are finely honed, highly ironic, sophisticated pieces which are both very good literature and excellent pedagogical devices. I would liken his short stories to some of Borges' more accessible ones, with the added dimension of political commitment."
—Cynthia Steele, author of Politics, Gender, and the Mexican Novel, 1968-1988: Beyond the Pyramid
Outstanding Translation of the Year Award, 1995
AMERICAN LITERARY TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION