This is the first of Argentinean writer Ang lica Gorodischer's
nineteen award-winning books to be translated into English. In eleven
chapters, Kalpa Imperial's multiple storytellers relate the
story of a fabled nameless empire which has risen and fallen
innumerable times. Fairy tales, oral histories and political
commentaries are all woven tapestry-style into Kalpa Imperial:
beggars become emperors, democracies become dictatorships, and
history becomes legends and stories.
But this is much
more than a simple political allegory or fable. It is also a
celebration of the power of storytelling. Gorodischer and translator
Ursula K. Le Guin are a well-matched, sly and delightful team of
magician-storytellers. Rarely have author and translator been such an
effortless pairing. Kalpa Imperial is a powerful introduction to the
writing of Ang lica Gorodischer, a novel which will enthrall readers
already familiar with the worlds of Le Guin.