“Señora Smaig” by Almudena Sánchez @ The Short Story Project

Thank you to The Short Story Project and Translation Editor Lihi Goldman for publishing my translation from the Spanish of the short story Señora Smaig by Spanish writer Almudena Sánchez. Please take the time to read my short introduction in which I draw the connection between this story and Judith Butler‘s Sick Woman Theory.

Señora Smaig is one of the ten tales that comprise Sánchez’s collection La acústica de los iglús (Caballo de Troya 2016), now in its 10th edition in Spain and recently published in a new edition by Odelia Editores, Argentina.

Señora Smaig, like every story in this remarkable collection, was tricky to translate because of the linguistic density of the text and Sánchez’s poetic style. I have been a fan of the work since the collection was first published and reached out to the author directly to ask for permission to translate her stories. Previously, I published The Cold Through the Gears, also from this collection, at Two Lines Press/Center for the Art of Translation. I have chosen to leave the word Señora in the title rather than translate it because in Spanish there is no true equivalent — neither Ms. nor Mrs. carries the same weight of social respect and seniority — and, what’s more, I think that most English speakers recognize the word. Like honorifics, I favor leaving familial relationships (mamá, papá, abuela) in Spanish in my translations because they, too, carry emotional and cultural significance and are equally comprehensible to the anglophone reader.

Sánchez’s work was included in the collection Under 30: Anthology of New Spanish Storytellers and received the Three Yellow Roses prize for short fiction. La acústica de los iglús (The Acoustics of Igloos) is her first collection of short stories; her first novel, an autofiction entitled Fármaco, was published by Literatura Random House (2021).

THIS COLLECTION IS SEEKING A PUBLISHER. My translation of all ten stories is complete. For foreign rights, contact María Juncosa at Casanovas & Lynch, Barcelona.

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