Immigrant Press is my hare-brained literary project. Preferring to publish on paper and finding no interest from commercial publishers or literary agents in receiving my books or translations, I decided to do everything myself from the writing and translating to the design, publishing and (limited) distribution. (The costs are also mine.) In 2018 I offered the first Immigrant titles in Kindle editions.
I began with two books of interest local to Úbeda, the small southern Spanish town where I had decided to live and work. Along the Way. Walking in Úbeda (2009) is a hybrid part-town human biography, part-visitor guide to this World Heritage-listed town. The series of walks narrated as I tour the architectural hightlights of my new home also reflects on the joys and oddities of starting life in a culture somewhat removed from that in which I spent my first half-century.
A Kindle edition, with a new cover and including many of the original photographs, was released in August 2018.
The curiosity of my fellow ubetenses has prompted a translation of the book into Spanish, which includes an afterword to bring the story up to date.
From the Americas to Jaén / Desde las Américas a Jaén (2011) is a bilingual Spanish-English reader prepared with one eye on the many young Spaniards impelled by recent economic troubles to prepare for emigration in search of work, and the other on the increasing hostility towards immigrants in many parts of the world.
I gathered a dozen stories of migration by Hispano-Americans who travelled from the varied lands of South and Central America and the Caribbean to the southern Spanish province where I live and work in search of a new life and opportunities – as I did myself – and presented these in testimonio form. Needless to say, they arrived in better economic times than those faced by Spanish youngsters today, whose need to learn the English language as they prepare for emigration might find useful reading in this book.
The Kindle edition carries a new cover and full-colour photographs from the family archives of my interviewees.
Since then I’ve written three translations of classic novels from Latin America, to be found on the Library of Translation shelf:
South-East (2013) was the first volume on the Immigrant Library of Translation shelf, and led to a second edition, as Southeaster (2015) with publishers And Other Stories. The story of this book is told on the Haroldo Conti page, which also has news of the larger project on Conti’s work. A second novel by Conti, In Life, was published in 2018.
Come The Day (2016) is the first translation of Colombian Manuel Mejía Vallejo‘s work into English, his novel being the first from Latin America to win the Spanish Nadal Prize. It is also available in a Kindle edition.
Jessica Sequeira had offered me help with Immigrant Press having come across Conti’s novel and written an extensive article on its publication for the Boston Review. Her first job was the editing of Mejía Vallejo’s novel.
The Fireside shelf saw its first volume in summer 2018: Horizon is the first book in an autobiographical triptych, to be completed in the next years. See my page for more details. An auto/biographical work on Haroldo Conti will follow at some point during the completion of this triptych.
All Immigrant Press paper volumes are carefully prepared and printed by Gráficas La Paz of Torredonjimeno, an hour’s drive from Úbeda through the olive groves. Their advice on papers and binding has allowed the production of what I intend as beautiful books, with bindings no more likely to fall apart than their content.
You can contact me, or Jessica, by way of the email address below.
Jon Lindsay Miles