Kit Maude, translator of The Naked Woman, discusses its pseudonymous author and its place in South American literature with Nina Gerassi-Navarro.
When The Naked Woman was originally published in 1950, critics doubted a woman writer could be responsible for its shocking erotic content. In this searing critique of Enlightenment values, fantastic themes are juxtaposed with brutal depictions of misogyny and violence, and frantically build to a fiery conclusion. Finally available to an English-speaking audience, Armonía Somers will resonate with readers of Clarice Lispector, Djuna Barnes, and Leonora Carrington.
Armonía Somers (1914-1994) was a Uruguayan feminist, pedagogue, novelist, and short story writer. Though considered to be part of the literary generation of 1945 in Uruguay, her style and use of a pseudonym set her apart.
Kit Maude is a Spanish-to-English translator based in Buenos Aires. His translations of stories by Latin American authors have been featured in Granta, The Literary Review, and The Short Story Project, among other publications. He writes reviews for Ñ, Otra Parte, and the Times Literary Supplement.
Nina Gerassi-Navarro is professor of Latin American literature at Tufts University, where she teaches courses on nation building, women writers, travel literature, bandits, and visual culture. She grew up between the United States, Argentina, and Uruguay. Her books include Pirate Novels: Fictions of Nation Building in Spanish America, and more recently, Women, Travel, and Science in Nineteenth-Century Americas: The Politics of Observation.