Award-winning fiction and non-fiction writer Angélica Gorodischer has passed away at the age of 93 in her home in Rosairo, Argentina.
Gorodischer was born on July 28, 1928 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At age seven, however, her family moved to Rosario, where she lived until her passing on February 5, 2022. She was a prolific author, and some of her best-known works include 1983’s Kalpa Imperial (which was translated to English by Ursula K. LeGuin in 2003), as well as 1979’s Trafalgar (translated by Amalia Gladhart in 2013) and 1994’s Prodigies (translated by Sue Burke in 2015).
These three works were published by Small Beer Press. “Publishing Angélica’s books—and meeting her when she came up to the WisCon conference in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2003—have been one of the highlights of our work here at the press,” Small Beer Press co-founder Gavin J. Grant said in a post after learning of Gorodischer’s death.
While Gorodischer is very well-known in the Spanish-speaking literary world, her work found a larger audience through Le Guin’s translation of Kalpa Imperial. The two authors first met when in 1988 when Gorodischer was attending the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and Gorodischer described the translation process of Kalpa with Le Guin as “the source of a very great joy.”
“I started out with the desire to write the Western Thousand and One Nights, which was really quite pretentious of me,” she also said about Kalpa Imperial when the English translation was initially released. “But that’s what came out, and it tempted me more as I wrote each story. A critic friend of mine says that it is ‘a manual for the good ruler.’ I like that.”
In 2011, Gorodischer received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of her contribution to the SFF writing community.
Ursula K. Le Guin’s official Twitter account also shared the opening paragraph of Kalpa Imperial in recognition of her work—the words still resonate today:
Angélica Gorodischer, 1928-2022
Kalpa Imperial begins, "The storyteller said: Now that the good winds are blowing, now that we're done with days of anxiety and nights of terror," (1/6)https://t.co/jC7KuBnTKI
— Ursula K. Le Guin (@ursulakleguin) February 7, 2022