By Claudia Ulloa Donoso
Translated by Lily Meyer
A beautiful, slim book from Bogotá39 member Claudia Ulloa Donoso comprised of magical short stories and texts that explore the strangeness of everyday life.
Read Lily Meyers on translation in Poets & Writers: "Endless Work: The Responsbilities and Pleasures of Translation"
Publication Date: August 17, 2021
After leaving Peru to pursue graduate school north of the Arctic circle, Claudia Ulloa Donoso began blogging about insomnia. Not hers, necessarily – the blog was never defined as fact or fiction. Her blog posts became the bones of Little Bird, a collection of short stories with the fervent self-declaration of diary entries and hallucinatory haze of sleeplessness. Blending narration and personal experience, the stories in Little Bird stretch reality, a sharp-shooting combination of George Saunders and Samanta Schweblin. Characters real and unreal, seductive, shape-changing, and baffling come together in smooth prose that leaves readers questioning their own truth.
Read an excerpt on Electric Literature
"Blending narration and deep personal experience, the stories in Little Bird stretch reality, a sharp-shooting combination of George Saunders and Samanta Schweblin. Characters real and unreal, seductive, shape-changing, and baffling come together in smooth prose that leaves readers questioning their own truth." –Speculative Fiction in Translation, Rachel Cordasco
"The stories in Little Bird accomplish a seemingly daunting task: namely, offering readers a sense of distance while also embracing the most visceral elements of the surreal. Add a few observations of life in Norway into the mix and the outcome is even more distinctive—a singular work that comes at the reader from unexpected angles." —Tobias Carroll, Words Without Borders
“Like the narrator of the title story, tucking a mangled bird into her pocket for safe-keeping, Donoso treats all her characters — narrators and their mothers, lovers, cats, strangers on a bus, landscapers and firefly men — with tender care. And therefore, by extension, she treats her readers with care, too — a compassion not easily found in our waking world.” —Amelia Brown, Full Stop
“Little Bird is a book of tiny, fabulous adventures. Its narrators — mostly women who seem estranged from themselves — tell stories as if from the middle of a tightrope strung between small buildings...I devoured it. Or, at least, I devoured it in the beginning. Halfway through, I slowed down to savor.” —Kate Brandt, Necessary Fiction
"The stories of Little Bird by Claudia Ulloa Donoso feel like lucid dreams... Each story is threaded with a subtle, quiet eeriness that is simultaneously unsettling, but that also keeps you turning the pages." –Lesley Rains, City of Asylum Bookstore
"Sometimes funny, sometimes unsettling, and often surreal, Donoso’s words will creep into your mind and make a nest. They will follow you through your day flying circles around your head at work, pecking the plate next to you at dinner, and perching beside you in bed at night. These witty, weird stories will stay with you. And after reading them, you won’t want to pick up anything else. Other books just won’t be the same." –Politics & Prose Bookstore