To Die in Veracruz (English version unpublished)
Corruption, violence, death in the name of power and control
This novel depicts corruption in the Mexican oil industry during the 1970s by one of Mexico's leading writers. The author and I worked very closely together on the translation..
Hey You Guys
The savaging of the English language
Synopsis of The Heritage
Synopsis of the Jack Michonik novel
The Heritage (Jewish Literature from Latin America) (English translation by Michael B. Miller) (Spanish original: La descendencia)
There is no hero or villain in this chronicle of the uprooting of a generation. León Edri comes closest to being the main character, for the novel––which begins and ends with his thoughts––recounts the story of his life, among others. It is the story of an immigrant Jew who arrives in South America with his pockets empty and his spirit overflowing with his rich cultural heritage. Thirty-five years later, his pockets now filled, the immigrant sadly observes that the only thing he will be able to bequeath to his children is his wealth. The cultural heritage that he so much struggled to preserve is destined to be lost. This is therefore not solely the story of León Edri, but that of many of his fellow Jews. (Currently in French translation as La Descendance by Editions Héloïse d'Ormesson, 367 p.) (Trans. by Isabelle Taudière, 2006).
To be a translator of literary fiction requires that one also be a writer if one is to capture the rhythm and tone of the original, and bring it to life. The goal is always to make the English version sound as if it were the original text and this means that the translator must preserve the color and essence of the source language from which it flows. The art of translation is every bit as challenging as being the author of an original work, with the exception that the translator does not have to worry about plot, timeline, and characterization.
The author enjoys dividing his time between translation and his own writing, since he finds that translating literature energizes and fires his imagination with respect to his own writing.
A graduate of the University of Delaware (B.A. 1963, M.A. 1965) and the George Washington University (Ph.D. 1974) and former professor of Spanish and Latin American literatures, Miller took an interest in translating Latin American fiction beginning in 1996. His first break came with Curbstone Press which published his translation of a work by one of Central America’s leading literary voices, Manlio Argueta of El Salvador. As a teacher and translator of Latin American fiction, Miller found his own fiction heavily influenced by the voices and techniques of the writers he was translating, most notably in a short story he wrote called LOVE AND HEARTACHE IN GRINGOLANDIA, published on-line at the invitation of the editor of webdelsol.com under the portal marked PUERTA DEL SOL
He has also translated children’s fiction for Everest Publishers in Spain and a contemplative, groundbreaking work on the phenomenon of life, Green Fire: The Life Force, from the Atom to the Mind (Thunder’s Mouth Press), by Spanish paleontologists Juan Luis Arsuaga and Ignacio Martínez.
Writers Workshops: Spring 1998: fiction workshop at the Bethesda Writers Center, with novelist Candace Denning; 1998 New York State Summer Writers Institute (fiction with Nicholas Delbanco; translation with John Felstiner); Fall 1999: fiction workshop at the Bethesda Writers Center, with novelist Barbara Esstman; 2000: Rappahannock Fiction Workshops, with novelist Robert Olmstead. Rappahannock, Virginia; June 2001: fiction workshop at the William Joiner Center in Boston, with 1987 National Book Award winner Larry Heinemann; 2002: Algonkian Writers Retreat Workshop with Michael Neff, editor of WebdelSol Magazine.