Where’s the Latin Love?

Though the hearts of Latin American literature enthusiasts have been aflutter lately in response to the heaps of excitement surrounding Roberto Bolano — and the prospect of that attention bringing about a renaissance of Spanish-language lit in the States akin to that of the 1960s — the lists of “best books of 2008” that have begun to emerge show Bolano largely alone among mostly English texts; Bookslut editor Jessa Crispin notes in the introduction to her NPR’s “Best Foreign Books of 2008,” which includes Horacio Castellanos-Moya’s Senselessness, that Nobel Prize judge Horace Engdahl’s criticism of American publishers being uninterested in translations is difficult to refute; meanwhile, as the US scratches its head over California’s passage of Proposition 8, Mexican transvestites in Oaxaca are living fabulously with the blessings of their community.