Yuri Herrera

The Transmigration of Bodies

“These days we walk right past a body on the street, and we have to stop pretending we can’t see it.”

– from The Transmigration of Bodies

A plague has brought death to the city. Two feuding crime families with blood on their hands need our hard-boiled hero, The Redeemer, to broker peace. Both his instincts and the vacant streets warn him to stay indoors, but The Redeemer ventures out into the city’s underbelly to arrange for the exchange of the bodies they hold hostage.

Yuri Herrera’s novel is a response to the violence of contemporary Mexico. With echoes of Romeo and Juliet, Roberto Bolaño and Raymond Chandler, The Transmigration of Bodies is a noirish tragedy and a tribute to those bodies – loved, sanctified, lusted after, and defiled – that violent crime has touched.

Read an Excerpt
Paperback: £8.99
EBook: £5.00

More Info

  • Read more about Yuri Herrera on our author page.
  • Granta magazine’s Love issue features an excerpt from The Transmigration of Bodies. Read it here.
  • Read about Yuri Herrera’s Best Translated Book Award-winning Signs Preceding the End of the World, also published by And Other Stories.
  • You can hear Yuri Herrera talking to Richard Lea on Guardian Podcast about borderlands and border crossing (from 15m 40s in).
  • Read The Skinny‘s interview with Yuri Herrera here.
  • Hear Herrera discussing his first ever book in English with Green Apple Books here.
  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before 9th November 2015, you would have received the first edition of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well us up to five other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
Print status: Available
Author: Yuri Herrera
Original language: Spanish
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 7 July 2016
ISBN: 9781908276728
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276735
Availability: World (excl Aus & NZ)

Reviews

James Lasdun
The Guardian

‘Bracingly unbookish . . . The after-effect is more like that of a video game or Marvel comic, with both the brightness and unabashed flatness those entail. Darkly satisfying . . . Swift, slick images and one-liners glitter at regular intervals.’

Sam Sacks
The Wall Street Journal

‘Herrera packs his slim book with the sex, booze and nihilism of a better Simenon novella . . . Dillman brings out a gritty, pulpy flavor in the writing.’

Dustin Illingworth
Los Angeles Times

‘Herrera pivots from border fabulist to noirish raconteur, bringing his considerable allegorical powers to bear on a facet of contemporary Mexican culture: Namely, its legacy of violence. Herrera’s prose, deftly translated by Lisa Dillman, is lean and hard-boiled — and often caustically poetic — though underpinned by a sort of wry self-awareness. For all the apocalyptic strangeness of his settings — permeable borders, plague addled cities — his stories mold something rich and fundamental from the stuff of prosaic life.’

Eileen Battersby
Irish Times

‘The author of playful, prophetic, unnerving books that deserve to be read several times, with dialogue so telling it eats into your brain rather like the worm in the Redeemer’s preferred mescal, Herrera is a writer for our doomed epoch.’

Jeff Noon
The Spectator

‘Herrera’s brilliantly surreal turns of phrase mirror the strangeness of the world: he knows that brutal everyday truths are best revealed through dreams. Blood-soaked, driven deep and expertly written.’

John Powers
NPR Fresh Air

‘Yuri Herrera [is] my favorite of the new Mexican writers. The Transmigration of Bodies goes straight for the soul. Unsettling and deep, Herrera transmigrates us to a Mexico that feels like a metaphysical condition, a timeless kingdom in which the living are forever dancing with the dead.’


Bookforum

The Transmigration of Bodies takes the conventions of gumshoe fiction and transfers them to a charnel-house world that makes nonsense of the genre’s habitual moral opposites . . . There’s plenty to admire about this allegorical vision of a country under lockdown, where violence and death have ceased to be the motors for fiction, instead becoming the backdrop of everyday life.’