Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681373232
Pages: 264
Publication Date: August 13, 2019

The Word of the SpeechlessSelected Stories

by Julio Ramón Ribeyro, edited and translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver, with an introduction by Alejandro Zambra


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An NYRB Classics Original

The Peruvian writer Julio Ramón Ribeyro is one of the masters of the short story and a major contributor to the great flourishing of Latin American literature that followed the Second World War. In a letter to an editor, Ribeyro said about his stories, “in most of [them] those who are deprived of words in life find expression— the marginalized, the forgotten, those condemned to an existence without harmony and without voice. I have restored to them the breath they’ve been denied, and I’ve allowed them to modulate their own longings, outbursts, and distress.” This is work of deep humanity, imbued with a disorienting lyricism that is Ribeyro’s alone. The Word of the Speechless, edited and translated by Katherine Silver, introduces readers to an indispensable and unforgettable voice of Latin American fiction.


A magnificent storyteller, one of the best of Latin America and probably of the Spanish language, unjustly not recognized as such.
—Mario Vargas Llosa

Ribeyro writes a painting, or linguistically paints a scene in which quiet gestures...communicate as much if not more than the textually explicit or the explicitly textual.
Letras Hispanas