Mario Bellatin, the leading experimental novelist in contemporary Latin America, introduces the neglected work of Shiki Nagaoka to an English-speaking audience for the first time. Bellatin’s highly stylized biography recounts Nagaoka’s early life, including his failed first attempt at love, his decision to enter the monastic life, and his family’s disavowal of him. It contextualizes his untranslatable masterwork, his early use of narrative photography, and his influence on other important world writers, including Juan Rulfo and José María Arguedas. And of course he portrays Nagaoka’s incredible nose, the deformedly large appendage that determined his life path.
“…one of the leading voices in experimental Spanish-language fiction.” —New York Times
“Mario Bellatin has indisputably become one of the literary stars of the Latin American scene.” —Radar Libros (Argentina)
“One of the most original figures of recent Latin American fiction.” —ABC (Spain)
“Bellatin’s unusual narrative world doesn’t need to exceed the conventional limits of the short novel in order to take possession of mind of the reader, who’s left seduced by the turbid and convulsive beauty of his stories.” —El País (Spain)
Mario Bellatin has published dozens of novellas on major and minor publishing houses in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. His English-language translations include Beauty Salon (City Lights, 2010) and Chinese Checkers: Three Fictions (Ravenna Press, 2009). His current projects include Los Cien Mil Libros de Bellatin, his own imprint dedicated to publishing 1,000 copies each of 100 of his books.
David Shook is a poet and writer in Los Angeles, where he edits Molossus and Phoneme Media. His debut collection Our Obsidian Tongues is available from Eyewear Publishing.