On August 13, Libros Schmibros was proud to support indigenous literature in Los Angeles by hosting a trilingual reading of the short story “Midnight Bird” by its Mexican author, Pergentino José Ruíz, and its English translator and Libros Schmibros employee, Chris Ortega.
Pergentino José Ruíz is an accomplished writer from the Mexican state of Oaxaca who has worked to create and nurture a literary tradition in its indigenous language of Zapotec. He has written five books in both Spanish and Zapotec, helping keep Mexico’s indigenous languages alive and growing. In 2011, he won the CaSa Prize from the Centro de las Artes de San Agustín for his Zapotec book of poetry, Flor de zarzamora.
The reading alternated between Zapotec, Spanish, and English, with each language adding a different dimension to the core story, a powerful allegory about an indigenous man’s imprisonment and execution at the hands of a so-called “civilized” town.
After the reading, Pergentino generously donated copies of his short story to Libros. Come by to pick one up to read!