I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the amazing Guisela Parra Molina, who is translating My Beautiful Imperial into Spanish. This new version will be launched in Chile at the end of the year.
Guisela is a very experienced translator and I am thrilled that she has agreed to take on the translation on behalf of Victorina Press.
Guisela sent me some background information about herself and she has agreed that I can share it with you here. Diolch, gracias, thank you Guisela.
My name is Guisela Parra Molina, originally from Concepción, Chile, but I’ve had to migrate, as it were, to other cities within the country, because it was very difficult to find and keep a steady job during the dictatorship, and I had a daughter to take care of. I have called it migration, even exile, because it has meant feeling homesick, away from my family and friends, all these years. As you know, Chile is long and narrow (“Chile es una larga y angosta faja de tierra” is the first notion on Geography we are taught at school), and it takes quite a lot of time and money to travel along all the places our beautiful Imperial got to. So I lived in Arica, then in Iquique, and finally came to La Serena. I studied and graduated as a Translator English-Spanish in Universidad de Concepción (something I am very proud of). Apart from working as a translator, I taught in translation programmes at Universidad de Tarapacá in Arica, and Iquique English College in Iquique. I finally got a steady teaching post in Universidad de La Serena, where I taught Literary Translation, among other Translation and Spanish courses, for 20 years or so. I was known among students as a rigorous and strict teacher, because I aimed at showing, spreading, and sharing with them my love for language. In the meantime, I got a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies, major in Literature, by the same university. My thesis was a feminist study of works by María Luisa Bombal (20th century Chilean writer) and Virginia Woolf: La que procede del país próspero y el que procede del país glorioso: diálogo intertextual entre María Luisa Bombal y Virginia Woolf (an off-the-cuff translation would be something like “She who comes from the prosperous country and he who comes from the glorious country –intertextual dialogue between María Luisa Bombal and Virginia Woolf”). I had a great time writing it, by the way.
I am a feminist, therefore, I participated in Universidad de La Serena Gender Studies Programme, which unfortunately didn’t last long (it’s quite difficult for this kind of programme to survive, especially in an extremely conservative place such as La Serena). I have also formed and participated in feminist groups and organizations, among others, Casa de Encuentro de la Mujer in Arica, and Nayax Warmitwa in Iquique, aiming at contributing to women’s awareness, basically.
I retired three years ago, and that has enabled me to devote all my time to writing, and translating literature, which is what I’ve always wanted to do. At the moment I am also part of a team in charge of a fiction workshop, called “Los Viajeros del Mary Celeste”. You will probably meet them if you present My Beautiful Imperial in La Serena, I’ll do my best to arrange that.
Having a book published in this country is very difficult because of the enterprising focus prevailing over the literary one. So I’ve had only two plaquettes published, in a “marginal” way, so to speak: Crucifixión, and In Tempo de Réquiem. And I’ll have a book published soon, Piel de Culebra, in the same marginal way. I write political criticism columns, more or less regularly, which are published in online media, mainly in http://www.eldesconcierto.cl