A mongrel tongue is a language, like English, made up of words imposed by, borrowed, inherited, pilfered, and misheard from many different languages. A mongrel tongue language of the mixed-up descendants of the colonized, the crimson-lipped feminized, the weepy survivors of a fevered nostalgia, and hybrid beasts of the deep. We turn to a mongrel tongue when the stories we’ve been told have calcified into media narratives, advertising, and purebred political campaigns, and we wish to write another story, whose ending is yet unknown.
“With lyrical brilliance and discipline, Megin Jiménez’s Mongrel Tongue swerves through the many ways we live with and among disaster. The narratives here are boundless; everywhere there is a body searching for home, a political exile, a climate refugee, a body that’s absorbed, a body that refuses to be absorbed, a body that refuses to disappear into history. I’m thrilled by the vibrancy of this debut, by the worlds it creates amid worlds that make us vanish.”
“These are half stories from a fully experienced observer, peering out at the light that brings her the news. The new world is here still being discovered by a woman we recognize by her likeness to another woman we don’t recognize. A hilarious a prophetic book that is tragic at heart.”
“Eschewing purity of all kinds, the prose poems and hybrid pieces in Mongrel Tongue call themselves novel, document, story, tale, interview, history, invocation. This startling book revels in the translator’s gulf, nomadically moving through the clutter of the world, offering slippages and valences galore.”
Megin Jiménez was born in Mérida, Venezuela and grew up in Denver, USA. She studied at the University of Denver, Université Paris-Sorbonne and received an MFA from The New School. Her writing has appeared in Barrow Street, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review Online, Barrelhouse, Mantis, Tarpaulin Sky, Redivider, and other journals. She works as a translator and editor for international organizations and lives in Leiden, the Netherlands.
Read more about Megin HERE