Megan McDowell

Translator from the Spanish

Megan McDowell

Megan McDowell

Megan McDowell lives in Santiago, Chile. She has translated many of the most important contemporary Spanish language authors, including Alejandro Zambra, Samanta Schweblin, Mariana Enríquez, and Lina Meruane. She has been nominated four times for the International Booker Prize, and was the recipient of a 2020 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

cover image of the book Yesterday

Yesterday

by Juan Emar

Translated by Megan McDowell

In the city of San Agustín de Tango, the banal is hard to tell from the bizarre. In a single day, a man is guillotined for preaching the intellectual pleasures of sex; an ostrich in a zoo, reversing roles, devours a lion; and a man, while urinating, goes bungee jumping through time itself—and manages to escape. Or does he? Witness the weird machinery of Yesterday, where the Chilean master Juan Emar deploys irony, digression, and giddy repetitions to ratchet up narrative tension again and again and again, in this thrilling whirlwind of the ecstatically unexpected—all wed to the happiest marriage of any novel, ever.

Born in Chile at the tail end of the nineteenth century, Juan Emar was largely overlooked during his lifetime, and lived in self-imposed exile from the literary circles of his day. A cult of Emarians, however, always persisted, and after several rediscoveries in the Spanish-speaking world, he is finally getting his international due with the English-language debut of Yesterday, deftly translated by Megan McDowell. Emar’s work offers unique and delirious pleasures, and will be an epiphany to anglophone readers.

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