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Maqroll’s Prayer and Other Poems

Maqroll’s Prayer and Other Poems

by Álvaro Mutis, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews, Edith Grossman, and Alastair Reid

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Álvaro Mutis’s fantastical, gripping, unnerving tales of the exploits and adventures of Maqroll, the Gaviero, or watchman, an inveterate wanderer both on land and sea, are among the most beloved works of twentieth-century Latin American fiction. Like the stories of Borges, like the novels of Mutis’s great friend García Márquez, they conjure a strange world of their own that also holds up a mirror, disquieting and revelatory, to the everyday world we imagine we know. 

If Maqroll eventually found his way into prose, he began his career in poetry, and it was as a poet that Mutis first made his name as a writer. This bilingual selection of Mutis’s haunting verse, with its evocations, now lush, now stark, of the landscapes of South America, with its prayers to an unknown god, is the first to be published in English. Rendered by Chris Andrews, Edith Grossman, and Alastair Reid, masters of the art of translation, these resonant poems offer a dazzling new entry into the imagination of one of the most original and memorable writers of modern times.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Poets
ISBN: 9781590178744
Pages: 208
Publication Date:


Portentous dreamer, irredeemable traveler, subtle monarchist and conversationalist extraordinaire, Álvaro Mutis is the inhabitant of a unique, self-sufficient cosmos—endless, without timetables and borders.
—Ilan Stavans

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