(Author) (Translator)
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New Directions Publishing Corporation
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About the Author

Juan Emar is the pen name of Chilean writer, painter, and art critic Álvaro Yánez Bianchi. Born in Chile in 1893, he was a strong advocate of the artistic avant-garde of the 1920s and 30s, and his critical writings helped revolutionize the art scene in his country. Under-appreciated in his time, he is now considered to be one of the most important 20th-century Latin American writers.

Megan McDowell is a Spanish-language literary translator from Kentucky. Her work includes books by Alejandro Zambra, Samanta Schweblin, Lina Meruane, Mariana Enríquez, Álvaro Bisama, Arturo Fontaine, and Juan Emar. Her translations have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Tin House, McSweeney's, Words Without Borders, Mandorla, and VICE, among others. Her translation of Zambra's novel Ways of Going Home won the 2013 PEN Award for Writing in Translation. She lives in Santiago, Chile.


Juan Emar, ahead of his time, was no doubt writing for readers of the future, and it's as arrogant as it is exciting to suppose that those readers of the future are us.--Alejandro Zambra
Juan Emar, the Chilean writer who bears a marked resemblance to the monument to the unknown soldier.--Roberto Bolaño
The forerunner of them all.--Pablo Neruda
The wonder of Emar's universe doesn't derive from the numerological matrix of his structure, or even the secret code he used to criticize the literary conservatism of his day, but in his imagination, which explodes like the big bang and overflows, giving rise to all possibilities.--Roberto Wong "Letras Libres"
Emar has no precents, and no equals.--César Aira
Weird and charming.--Hanson O'Haver "The Nation"