BOOK CLUB 101
NYU Skirball’s Book Club is back! We pair each production in our season with a complementary book – novels, short stories, essays, poetry, memoirs. Whether or not you have a chance to see the show, you can pick up the book and join us via Zoom for an informal discussion. We’ll meet on Wednesday nights at 7PM, opening week of each show.
How does it work? RSVP with your e-mail address so we can send you the Zoom link on the day of the event. After a brief introduction, we will shift participants into self-led breakout rooms, in groups of about 10, so everyone can participate in a discussion before coming back to the main room to wrap up. Need a copy of the book? Order a copy from our bookshop.org list, and NYU Skirball will receive a portion of the proceeds.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back.
Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages – one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Actopan, Mexico, in 1970, Yuri Herrera studied Politics in Mexico, Creative Writing in El Paso and took his PhD in literature at Berkeley. His first novel to appear in English, Signs Preceding the End of the World, was published to great critical acclaim in 2015 and included in many Best-of-Year lists, including The Guardian‘s Best Fiction and NBC News’s Ten Great Latino Books, going on to win the 2016 Best Translated Book Award. He is currently teaching at the Tulane University, in New Orleans.
WHY THIS BOOK?
“A dead woman wanders through the shadowy space on the border between memory and reality, tracing the lines of her identity through the land she once walked – an immigrant in death as in life.” This is a description of Du Yun’s Zolle but it could also describe Herrera’s Makina, who makes an apocryphal journey to the underworld in this novella. Herrera and translator Lisa Dillman explore language itself as a kind of border, playing with translation and understanding. Make sure you read the translator’s note!