St. Mary’s College of Maryland is pleased to announce that Associate Professors of Spanish José Ballesteros and Leslie Bayers recently had their English translation of Marcial Molina Richter’s “The Word of the Dead or Ayacucho in the Ninth Hour” published by Lluvia Editores in Lima, Peru.
To launch their translated edition of the book, Ballesteros and Bayers participated in a panel discussion at the Cultural Center of the Universidad Nacional de San Cristobal of Huamanga in Ayacucho, Peru in April. The panel included Esteban Quiroz, owner and editor of Lluvia Editores, and Richter, author of the original title.
Ballesteros and Bayers also received a medal of recognition from the Universidad Nacional de San Cristobal of Huamanga, as well as a diploma of recognition from Huamanga’s mayor, Amilcar Huancahuari Tueros, for bringing the important text to a larger audience. They were honored during a ceremony that celebrated the city’s 472nd anniversary in the town hall of Huamanga. Several local officials, including the Governor of the province of Ayacucho, Daniel Roca Sulca, were in attendance.
“We will be forever grateful to the all of those at the Universidad Nacional de San Cristobal of Huamanga and to the city of Ayacucho for supporting our work and trip,” said Ballesteros and Bayers. “We were very much humbled by the experience and it was an honor to represent St. Mary’s College of Maryland abroad. We came back from Peru energized and will continue to develop our individual creative and academic work, including our next collaborative translation: the first English language anthology of Ecuador’s most important literary figure, Jorge Enrique Adoum.”
“The Word of the Dead or Ayacucho in the Ninth Hour” bears witness to the violent internal war between the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) and government forces that shook Peru, and the region of Ayacucho—the epicenter of the conflict—in particular, in the 1980’s (the violence waged through the 90s). Richter is considered an important and courageous intellectual for having published his work during an era known by locals as “manchay tiempo,” a quechua phrase meaning “time of fear.” His critique of the violence led to his capture, upon which he suffered psychological torture and witnessed other acts of cruelty by military forces.
The book is currently only available for purchase in Peru. Ballesteros and Bayers are working toward distribution in the U.S.