Loosely based on the little-known 1859 Mexican invasion of the United States, Carmen Boullosa’s newest novel Texas: The Great Theft is a richly imagined evocation of the volatile Tex-Mex borderland, wrested from Mexico in 1848. Described by Roberto Bolaño as “Mexico’s greatest woman writer,” Boullosa views the border history through distinctly Mexican eyes, and her sympathetic portrayal of each of her wildly diverse characters—Mexican ranchers and Texas Rangers, Comanches and cowboys, German socialists and runaway slaves, Southern belles and dance hall girls—makes her storytelling tremendously powerful and absorbing. With today’s Mexican-American frontier such a front-burner concern, this novel that brilliantly illuminates its historical landscape is especially welcome. Texas is Boullosa’s fourth novel to appear in English, her previous novels were published by Grove Press.
Texas: The Great Theft
Carmen Boullosa, Samantha Schnee (Trans.)
Deep Vellum Publishing, 2014
Carmen Boullosa (born in Mexico City in 1954) is one of Mexico’s leading novelists, poets, and playwrights. She has published fifteen novels, the most recent of which are El complot de los románticos, Las paredes hablan, and La virgen y el violin, all with Editorial Siruela in Madrid. Her works in English translation include They’re Cows, We’re Pigs; Leaving Tabasco; and Cleopatra Dismounts, all published by Grove Press, and Jump of the Manta Ray, with illustrations by Philip Hughes, published by The Old Press. Her novels have also been translated into Italian, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian.
Samantha Schnee is the founding editor and chairman of the board of Words Without Borders. She has also been a senior editor with Zoetrope, and her translations have appeared in The Guardian, Granta, and The New York Times.
“Mexico’s greatest woman writer.”— Roberto Bolaño
“A luminous writer . . . Boullosa is a masterful spinner of the fantastic”— Miami Herald
“A lucid translation from the Spanish by Samantha Schnee. . . . [Boullosa’s] tale, loosely based on the Mexican invasion of the US known as the ‘Cortina troubles’, evok[es] a history that couldn’t be more relevant to today’s immigration battles in the US.” — Jane Ciabattari, BBC
“Historical fiction at its very best, avoiding all semblance of caricature or appeals to stereotype. The classic Western.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“…a cross between W.G. Sebald and Gabriel García Márquez.” – El País
“Carmen Boullosa’s latest novel, Texas: The Great Theft, is evidence that our ideas about postmodern cowpoke tales have been woefully premature. . . . What is outstanding in Boullosa’s work is the deep sympathy expressed for every human encountered.” — Roberto Ontiveros, Dallas Morning News