Umberto Eco once said, with regard to The Name of the Rose, that when you can’t theorise something, the best option is to try to narrate it. This book manages to bring together a fascinating selection of different types of stories and crónicas (reports) so as to offer a justly complex and distinct narrative of Venezuela. It is an extraordinary effort, a doorway that only good writing can offer: where ambiguity manages to overcome the kingdom of stereotypes, to defeat the Manichean moralism which aims to turn history into a mere paean. Here is a country that survives its own headlines. A country to be read.
[From the foreword by Alberto Barrera Tyszka]
While Venezuela may be known around the world for its oil or its politics, Venezuelan writing remains almost entirely unknown, with only a handful of books having been published in English in recent years. Crude Words is our response to this gap, the first ever anthology of contemporary Venezuelan writing and a celebration of Venezuelan literary talent. The collection brings together 30 pieces by Venezuelans both resident in the country and in exile, including essays, short stories and extracts from novels – from genres as diverse as journalism to erotica. There are pieces about food shortages, police brutality and the all-pervasive fear of violent crime, but there is also love, sex and the everyday… life in all its rich variety