Popol Vuh: A Retelling

Ilan Stavans (Author) Gabriela Larios (Illustrator)
& 1 more
Pre-Order   Ships Oct 27, 2020

Description

The archetypal creation story of Latin America, the Popol Vuh began as a Maya oral tradition millennia ago. In the mid-sixteenth century, as indigenous cultures across the continent were being threatened with destruction by European conquest and Christianity, it was written down in verse by members of the K'iche' nobility in what is today Guatemala. In 1701, that text was translated into Spanish by a Dominican friar and ethnographer before vanishing mysteriously.

Cosmic in scope and yet intimately human, the Popol Vuh offers invaluable insight into the Maya way of life before being decimated by colonization--their code of ethics, their views on death and the afterlife, and their devotion to passion, courage, and the natural world. It tells the story of how the world was created in a series of rehearsals that included wooden dummies, demi-gods, and eventually humans. It describes the underworld, Xibalba--a place as harrowing as Dante's hell--and relates the legend of the ultimate king, who, in the face of tragedy, became a spirit that accompanies his people in their struggle for survival.

Popol Vuh: A Retelling is a one-of-a-kind prose rendition of this classic that is as seminal as the Bible and the Quran, the Ramayana and the Odyssey. Award-winning scholar of Latin American literature Ilan Stavans brings a fresh creative energy to the Popol Vuh, giving a new generation of readers the opportunity to connect with this timeless story and with the plight of the indigenous people of the Americas.

Product Details

Price: $22.00  $19.80
Publisher: Restless Books
Published Date: October 27, 2020
Pages: 160
Language: English
Type: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781632062406

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About the Author

About the Author: Ilan Stavans is the publisher of Restless Books and the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. His books include On Borrowed Words, Spanglish, Dictionary Days, The Disappearance, and A Critic's Journey. He has edited The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, the three-volume set Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected Stories, The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, among dozens of other volumes. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Chile's Presidential Medal, the International Latino Book Award, and the Jewish Book Award. Stavans's work, translated into twenty languages, has been adapted to the stage and screen. A cofounder of the Great Books Summer Program at Amherst, Stanford, Chicago, Oxford, and Dublin, he is the host of the NPR podcast "In Contrast."About the Illustrator: London based Salvadoran artist and illustrator Gabriela Larios received her Master of Arts from Camberwell College of Arts, UK in 2007 thanks to an Alban Scholarship. She creates whimsical and colourful collage illustrations that celebrate her deep love of children's books, textiles and folk art. Her creative world derives from her interest in storytelling and the natural world. There is a naive and playful spirit captured in her work and a strong connection between memories of her childhood in El Salvador and her body of work: tortoises, fish, plants, birds and all the colourful creatures and elements found in her art. Her work has been exhibited in London, Europe and abroad and has appeared in various international books and magazines.

Reviews

Praise for Ilan Stavans:

"Ilan Stavans is an inventive interpreter of the contemporary cultures of the Americas.... Cantankerous and clever, sprightly and serious, Stavans is a voracious thinker. In his writing, life serves to illuminate literature--and vice versa: he is unafraid to court controversy, unsettle opinions, make enemies. In short, Stavans is an old-fashioned intellectual, a brilliant interpreter of his triple heritage--Jewish, Mexican, and American."
--Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

"...in the void created by the death of his compatriot Octavio Paz, Ilan Stavans has emerged as Latin America's liveliest and boldest critic and most innovative cultural enthusiast."
--The Washington Post

"Ilan Stavans has done as much as anyone alive to bridge the hemisphere's linguistic gaps."
--The Miami Herald

"A canon-maker."
--The Chronicle of Higher Education

"Ilan Stavans is a maverick intellectual whose canonical work has already produced a whole array of marvels... His incisive essays are redefining Jewish literature."
--The Forward

"Ilan Stavans is the rarest of North American writers--he sees the Americas whole. Not since Octavio Paz has Mexico given us an intellectual so able to violate borders, with learning and grace."
--Richard Rodriguez

"In the multicultural rainbow that is contemporary America, no one may be more representative of the state of the union than Ilan Stavans."
--Newsday

"Ilan Stavans may very well succeed in becoming the Octavio Paz of our age."
--The San Francisco Chronicle

"A virtuoso critic with an exuberant, encyclopedic, restless mind."
--The Forward

"Ilan Stavans has the sharp eye of the internal exile. Writing about the sometimes reluctant reconquista of North America by Spanish-speaking cultures or the development of his own identity, he deals with both the life of the mind and the life of the streets."
--John Sayles

"Lively and intelligent, eclectic, sharp-tongued."
--Peter Matthiessen

"I think Stavans has one of the best grips around on what makes Spanish America tick."
--Gregory Rabassa

"Ilan Stavans is a disciple of Kafka and Borges. He accepts social identity broadly, in the most cosmopolitan terms... His impulse is to broaden, not to narrow; he finds understanding through complication of identity, not through the easy gestures of ethnic politics."
--The New York Times

"Ilan Stavans has established himself as an invaluable commentator of literature."
--Phillip Lopate