cover image Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot

Melvin Burgess. Grupo Editorial Norma, $9.85 (186pp) ISBN 978-958-04-6267-5

The life of 12-year-old Billy, a coal miner's son from northern England, changes completely when he stumbles on a ballet class on the way to his weekly boxing lessons. Since admitting that he likes ballet in the fiercely macho culture of his town is tantamount to claiming that he is gay, Billy keeps his passion quiet. But when his teacher insists that he should audition for ballet school in London, family tensions inevitably arise. This 2001 work by acclaimed dramatist Burgess is based on the screenplay of the award-winning movie of the same name. A Colombian translator in a wide range of fieldsshe's worked on everything from John Hart Ely's political Democracy and Distrust (Democracia y desconfianza, Siglo del Hombre, 1997) to R.L. Stine's playful Goosebumps series (-No bajes al satano! [Stay Out of the Basement], Scholastic, 1996)Holguin successfully translates the British idioms and colloquial expressions of the original text, sometimes taking creative license to make them available to a broad Spanish-speaking readership. For example, ""something out of Doctor Who"" becomes the general ""algo salido de una tira comica"" (""something out of a comic book""). Although the book is considered YA material, Burgess's exploration of sexual politics and the story's backdrop of the mining strikes that gripped Britain in the early 1980s will also appeal to adult readers. Despite a disappointing and obvious misspelling of Burgess's name on the cover (""Burguess""), this is a high-quality translation and a worthwhile read.Carmen Ospina, ""Criticas""