cover image The Transmigration of Bodies

The Transmigration of Bodies

Yuri Herrera, trans. from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman. And Other Stories, $14.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-908276-72-8

In Herrera’s slim, amusing book (after Signs Preceding the End of the World), a plague has turned an unnamed city into an abandoned ruin, but that won’t stop the Redeemer from brokering peace between two prominent families about to go to war over their children. After spending the night with his neighbor, Three Times Blonde, the Redeemer gets a call from Dolphin, who claims the Castro family kidnapped his son, Romeo Fonseca. With the help of his pal the Neyanderthal and Fonseca’s daughter, the Unruly, the Redeemer discovers that the Fonsecas are holding Baby Girl, Castro’s daughter, who may be falling prey to the plague. As the tension rises, the Redeemer shops for the prophylactics Three Times Blonde insists on and tries to convince the families into a nonviolent swap of kin. Herrera strips Romeo & Juliet to its essence, sets it against a plague that symbolizes Mexico’s recent violent history, and peppers the prose with the ridiculous (e.g. “rankystank” and “crapkicked eye”). It’s thin as pulp but still diverting fun. (May)