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Elizabeth Gamble Miller
The Space of Light / El espacio de la luz
fiction and poems / cuentos y poemas

Nela Rio
Elizabeth Gamble Miller, editor and translator

Sept 2004 / short fiction & poetry (BISAC: LCO006000, LCO007000
Edición bilingüe español to English
160 pp / 5.5 x 8.5 / trade paper
Broken Jaw Press
ISBN 1-55391-020-6, $20.95

full size book cover

Finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters’ Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Book of Translation in 2004.

"Rio, as a feminist heir to the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, calls on us to recognize that history . . . shuts its stone pages / burying / the women who write it. Rio achieves an intoxicating lightness of style matched with unbearably intense feeling."
—George Elliott Clarke

Sept 2004 / short fiction & poetry (BISAC: LCO006000, LCO007000
Edición bilingüe español to English
160 pp / 5.5 x 8.5 / trade paper
Broken Jaw Press
ISBN 1-55391-020-6, $20.95

from the Introduction by Elizabeth Gamble Miller
This selection of my translations of twenty-nine poems and six short stories from Nela Rio’s voluminous production offers a broad spectrum of her writing from the 1980s to 2004. Because the images cast on Rio’s canvas vary in their degrees of darkness and their multiple shades of light and colour, the placement of the chosen texts is not chronological but an off-centre presentation of experiences and emotions in a counterpoint of tension. Throughout the whole Rio weaves a mystical thread that affirms life as a celebration. Her gifts of metaphorical lyricism bestow an aura of mystery and enchantment, so that her fiction also displays characteristics of poetry and myth, as an example “The Space of Light,” the short story that provides the title and concludes the selections.
Short stories such as “Oblivion Travels in a Black Car”, and “Maria de la Victoria”, are allegoric poetic prose. Rio’s lyrical skills are fully demonstrated in “The Wisteria Garden,” where the language of flowers in the paintings of the artist speak of domestic violence, and in “Marietta, at the Angelus,” in which the language of music translates desire. “Lucrecia” is a paradoxical celebration of solidarity and victory of women over oppression. Of her seven volumes of poetry represented in these selections, the poems of her manuscript “Poesía y otros ritmos” (Poetry and Other Rhythms) were skilfully constructed to develop the theme according to the beat of a particular instrument or dance of Latin American music. Los espejos hacen preguntas / The Mirrors Ask Questions are poems inspired by a 16th century Dominican poet nun living in Santo Domingo of Hispaniola (today the Dominican Republic).
Rio’s poetry gives birth to light. It rings with empathy for others. This is most poignantly expressed in Francisca sin techo / Francisca Homeless, a long lyrical poem of four cantos of harsh realities and disillusionment.
The collection is a eulogy honouring women and also a call to celebrate individual lives, of the past, in the present, and the ones of the future.

Nela Rio is an internationally-known Argentine-Canadian writer whose books include Túnel de proa verde / Tunnel of the Green Prow (Broken Jaw, 1998 & 2003), Cuerpo amado / Beloved Body (Broken Jaw, 2002) and During Nights that Undress Other Nights / En las noches que desvisten otras noches (Broken Jaw, 2003). Rio lives in Fredericton NB, Canada.

Elizabeth Gamble Miller, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX, USA, is a translator from the Spanish. Her publications include the works of some thirty authors.

Course adoptions
Michigan Tecnológical University,2010; University of Calgary, 2010

• launch: Fredericton, Montreal, Las Vegas NV (Oct 2004), La Grande OR, etc.
• media and review copy mailout

Author/Translator events
27-30 October 2004: Nela Rio & Elizabeth Gamble Miller @ American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) 27th annual Conference, Alexis Park Resort, 374 East Harmon, Las Vegas, USA

6 February 2005: Nela Rio reading at Festival Internacional de Poesía, Granada, Nicuargua

2-5 March 2005: readings/lectures—Nela Rio at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2100 Main St, Stevens Point, WI, USA