I’m thrilled that Damnificados has just been reviewed in World Literature Today, one of the world’s most venerable literary journals. WLT was founded in 1927, and was originally called Books Abroad.
The founder, Dr. Roy Temple House, was Chair of Modern Languages at the University of Oklahoma. House believed that the United States was becoming insular and isolationist, both politically and culturally. His idea was to broaden the outlook of North American readers. In his letter asking the university president for a start-up fund (the princely sum of $150), he wrote:
“. . . I know our little magazine will be useful in various quarters. A good many of us … are coming to feel strongly that the University of Oklahoma must begin fostering contributions to the scholarly and cultural activities of the nation.”
The first edition came out in 1927 and was 32 pages long. By 1977, it had grown to 256 pages and had a truly international scope, so the editors renamed it World Literature Today.
The journal has won numerous awards and The Nobel Prize committee described it as one of the “best edited and most informative literary publications” in the world. Its numerous activities include organizing literary events, administering prizes, and working with schools, among many other good deeds.
Here are some snippets from the review of Damnificados:
“Wilson takes this real-life story and molds it into a fantastic fable about the collision between the haves and the have-nots in a fictional South American city.”
“The end of the novel is not a dispersal of victory for the damnificados but a diaspora of hope: “There’ll be other towns and other places to call home.””
“Damnificados is a great read … [It] can also be read as documentary literature, which illustrates and predicts that social justice will prevail in the end.”
Thank you to Yang Jing, of Nanjing Normal University, and WLT for the review.