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A Pre-Columbian Bestiary: Fantastic Creatures of Indigenous Latin America By Ilan Stavans, Eko (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Ilan Stavans, Eko (Illustrator)
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An encyclopedic collaboration between award-winning Mexican American scholar Ilan Stavans and illustrator Eko, A Pre-Columbian Bestiary features lively and informative descriptions of forty-six religious, mythical, and imaginary creatures from the Nahua, Aztec, Maya, Tabasco, Inca, Aymara, and other cultures of Latin America.

From the siren-like Acuecu yotl and the water animal Chaac to the class-conscious Oc and the god of light and darkness X lotl, the magnificent entities in this volume belong to the same family of real and invented creatures imagined by Dante, Franz Kafka, C. S. Lewis, Jorge Luis Borges, Umberto Eco, and J. K. Rowling. They are mined from indigenous religious texts, like the Popol Vuh, and from chronicles, both real and fictional, of the Spanish conquest by Diego Dur n, Bernal D az del Castillo, and Fernando de Zarzamora, among others. In this playful compilation, Stavans distills imagery from the work of magic realist masters such as Juan Rulfo and Gabriel Garc a M rquez; from songs of protest in Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru; and from aboriginal beasts in Jewish, Muslim, European, British, and other traditions. In the spirit of imaginative invention, even the bibliography is a mixture of authentic and concocted material.

An inspiring record of resistance and memory from a civilization whose superb pantheon of myths never ceases to amaze, A Pre-Columbian Bestiary will delight anyone interested in the history and culture of Latin America.

About the Author

Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, publisher of Restless Books, and host of NPR's podcast In Contrast. He is the recipient of numerous international awards and honors, and his books have been translated into twenty languages. Among his recently published books are two Penn State University Press titles: the graphic novel adaptation of Don Quixote of La Mancha, illustrated by Roberto Weil, and The Return of Carvajal: A Mystery, illustrated by artist and illustrator Eko, whose engravings are also featured in this book.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780271087870
ISBN-10: 0271087870
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication Date: October 30th, 2020
Pages: 116
Language: English