Escribir afuera: cuentos de intemperies y querencias

An anthology of stories of migration by 31 Venezuelan writers, edited by Katie Brown, Liliana Lara and Raquel Rivas Rojas and published by Kálathos in 2021.

The exodus of Venezuelans for political, economic and social reasons has become one of the most urgent migratory problems of this second decade of the 21st century, and an unprecedented crisis in Latin America. As a theme, Venezuelan migration has become strongly installed in political and academic debates, inside and outside the country. In addition, it is leaving a definitive mark on the contemporary global reality and has been reviewed in painful chronicles and journalistic pieces. This phenomenon is changing, above all, private conversations and family stories, as domestic spaces have been fractured, dispersed, annihilated by various displacements.

It is not surprising that exile and the diaspora have become a central theme for many Venezuelan writers who are inside and outside the country. Literature has allowed these authors to illustrate a social and historical phenomenon from the perspective of the subject immersed in this situation (the one who leaves, but also the one who stays) in addition to weaving and inscribing these stories within an emerging national literary tradition and constructing cultural artefacts that give accounts of uprooting, fragmented identities, new forms of nostalgia or new roots for Venezuelans. In short, fiction is making it possible to narrate the dispersion, represent the trauma and build a form of memory in motion, distanced from official discourses.

The idea of ​​putting together an anthology of migration stories arose from a need to group together texts that would allow readers to understand this plural migratory phenomenon through literature. It is also a way of recording an unprecedented phenomenon in Venezuelan literature that is in full swing. Although the subject of migration is not new in Venezuelan literature, the force with which it has appeared in the work of numerous and diverse contemporary authors is more than evident.

Many of the texts in this anthology are unpublished. The authors agreed with great enthusiasm to share their stories here for the first time and this made us think of a dispersed, and diasporic, corpus that finds in these pages a kind of belonging. By bringing them together in a common space, this anthology opens a place for the community that is being forged beyond the geographical borders of Venezuela. That is why we have titled this anthology Escribir afuera: Cuentos de intemperies y querencias, because we want to account for that pendulum movement —between absence and memory— that is present in every story of the diaspora. And, at the same time, build that space open to encounters that is inherent in any anthology.

The thirty-one authors gathered here belong to different literary generations and their stories are inscribed in multiple genres that go from realism to the fantastic, through the epistolary and crime fiction, without leaving aside the historical, the allegorical, the humorous or the poetic. We have not made a distinction between the writers who are inside or outside of Venezuela, since the notion of exile, fracture and uprooting that emerges from these stories goes beyond the geographical situation of those who write them. Like any selection, ours is also an incomplete list from which some names are surely missing. However, we think that we have managed to gather a fairly representative sample of the abundance and the quality of the literature that is being written in these new diasporic communities of which we are all part.


Rubi Guerra, Krina Ber, Carolina Lozada, Mariana Libertad Suárez, Silda Cordoliani, Rodrigo Blanco Calderón, Gisela Kozak-Rovero, Freddy Gonçalves Da Silva, Juan Carlos Chirinos, Israel Centeno, Gabriel Payares, Fedosy Santaella, Raquel Abend van Dalen, María Dayana Fraile, Keila Val de la Ville, Naida Saavedra, José Luis Palacios, Liliana Lara, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, John Manuel Silva, Juan Carlos Méndez Guédez, Federico Vegas, Kira Kariakin, Miguel Gomes, Lena Yau, Hugo Prieto, Gustavo Valle, Salvador Fleján, Raquel Rivas Rojas, Dinapiera Di Donato and Marianela Cabrera.

Click here to buy the book from Amazon

Encuentros a la intemperie

Throughout June, July and September 2021, we hosted ‘Encuentros a la intemperie’, bringing two authors from the anthology together each time to discuss their stories, their experiences of migration and their writing processes. The full series is available on YouTube and as a podcast.