Former professor of Spanish and Latin American Literatures at Gallaudet University, Washington, D. C., (1968-2001), published translator of Latin American fiction with Curbstone Press.
Studied in Spain and Mexico, travels and conferences throughout Central America (1994-1999), with month-long stays in El Salvador (1996-1997) for research and writing.
Memberships: PEN AMERICA, ALTA (American Literary Translators Association), ATA (American Translators Association), WIW (Washington Independent Writers).
Published Translations of Latin American Fiction: A Place Called Milagro de la Paz. Original in Spanish: Milagro de la Paz (1994), a novel by one of Central America's most important writers, Manlio Argueta of El Salvador. (Curbstone Press, 2000). The Word in Exile (El Exilio de la Palabra) in PEN International's Anthology of Latin American Women in Translation: Conditional Liberty (Latin American PEN Foundation: La Luciérnaga Editores, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2000). Act One of a play in dialogue by Cristina Gutiérrez Richaud of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Children's Literature (EVEREST PUBLISHERS,La Coruña, Spain). TINKA (October 2000). THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE WIND (October 2000). THE CAT WHO WANTED TO FLY HIGH (March 2001). WithEvery Drop of Blood from the Wound (Con cada gota de sangre de la herida), novel by Manuel Corleto (Guatemalan Literature), 1996 "Rogelio Sinán" Prize of Panama for Central American Literature. (iUniverse 2003).
Pending Publications: Margarita, How Beautiful The Sea (Margarita, está linda la mar) by Sergio Ramírez (Nicaragua), co-winner of the 1998 Alfaguara International Prize for Literature (Spain). Woman With Short Hair And Great Legs (Mujer de cabellos cortos y buenas piernas) by Cristina Gutiérrez Richaud (Guadalajara, Mexico). Heart of Jade (Amor de Jade) by Walter Raudales (El Salvador).
Scheduled for publication November 2004 by Four Walls Eight Windows Press: AMALUR: FROM THE ATOM TO THE MIND by Juan Luis Arsuaga and Ignacio Martínez (Spain).
Interview Michael B. Miller, Translator (Mundo Hispano Newspaper, Utah)
Why did you get interested in Latin American Literature?
Because of the local color and the vibrancy of the texts, for the sumptuous and innate sensuality of the writing, for the rich imagination of modern writers, for the exotic element in the music and women, and for the lands that have known the mixture of races and because of their fascinating history.
What is the main difficulty the translator faces?
Being loyal to the original text, without distorting it, in an effort to keep it fluid and natural in its new language. A translation must not sound like a translation. That demands that the original language be molded into its new bottle, preserving at the same time the flavor and the meaning of the original text so that it doesn't get lost.
The translator has to be a writer too?
Of course, the translator has to feel the rhythm of the words and understand what sounds natural to the ear that receives the message in its new language The translator has to have the feelings of a writer, has to have the heart of a writer and illustrate the love for the words the same way the writer does.
Why do you think Americans want to read Latin American writers?
They want to read Latin American writers because they are willing to know other worlds and the thoughts of foreign authors. Many English-speaking readers are open-minded and enjoy discovering new things because of an innate and natural curiosity. At the same time, editors and publishers must work to educate readers and inspire their interest in Latin American writers in translation in order to cultivate a wider audience.
What's your advice to the author who wants to send his work in for translation?
Learn about the correct format used for submitting a manuscript to a publisher or agent for consideration. It has to be a professional presentation. The first manuscripts rejected by editors and agents, especially if they are not solicited, are the ones with a stained envelope or pages that look ragged and having been handled a lot, because it shows a lack of respect for your own profession and for the publisher or agent whom you approach. It indicates that the
writer has not taken the time to investigate the basic rules of presentation. If one doesn't know these rules, there are books that can teach an aspiring writer how to do it properly. And one more thing, never send a letter of inquiry or a chapter as a sample without the proper postage and without being specifically addressed with the name of the editor or the agent whose interest you are seeking. These last two failings are "the kiss of death" to your inquiry. In other words, your mailing ends up D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival.)
Why do you recommend reading Manuel Corleto's novel in English?
Because With Every Drop Of Blood From The Wound is a work that isn't afraid to break the rules of conventional narrative. It opens new frontiers for the reader who is looking for something out of the ordinary. Besides, I consider it a highly literary work in which Manuel demonstrates great subtlety as well as dexterity in weaving a fascinating tale that has elements of stage and film in it, treating at the same time themes normally considered taboo but that
deserve to be interpreted and discussed. Because it is one of the more creative works I have ever read. And finally, because he won the Rogelio Sinán Prize of Panama for Central American Literature in 1996 with his novel Con cada gota de sangre de la herida.
Some closing commentary?
It has been a pleasure working with Manuel to give birth to this book in translation, so that English-speaking readers can know his work for the first time. I believe the market for Latin American writers in the U.S. is larger than we know and has to be cultivated by means of personal contact, book readings and signings, advertising and persistent efforts. I urge the Latino community of writers and readers to support their own artists by buying their books
and passing along the word to friends and family.