'Las Biuty Queens,' New Translation by Alumna Hannah Kauders '20, to Release June 1, 2021

BY Nicole Saldarriaga, April 15, 2021

Las Biuty Queens, a story collection by Iván Monalisa Ojeda, translated from the Spanish by alumna Hannah Kauders '20, will be released by Astra House on June 1, 2021. 


The stories in the collection, which are from the perspectives of trans Latinx immigrants "who walk the streets, smoke crystal meth, compete in beauty contests, look for clients on their impossibly high heels, and fall prey to increasingly cruel immigration policies," is drawn from the personal experiences of Ojeda as a trans performer, sex worker, and immigrant. 


According to Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, "These stories are about 'what it means to cross from one side to the other, what it means to get home in one piece…' A crystalline energy tears through these pages and insists we keep our eyes open. This is New York, full of beauty and pain—turn away at your own peril." 


Publishers Weekly says that "Ojeda dazzles and devastates in this rich collection about a group of trans Latinx immigrants as they try to make it in New York City. Stories of drug addiction and police brutality, street queens and beauty contests portray the danger, decadence, and joy in the characters' lives."

Kauders' translation holds true to the spirit of the original book by keeping what Diego Zúñiga, award-winning author of Camanchaca, calls the "rabid Spanglish" used by "the fragile voices of this book as they tell...the story of a nightmare as gorgeous as it is infinite." 


Hannah Kauders is a writer, translator, educator, and performer from Boston. She is at work on her first book of fiction and several translations from the Spanish. She holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA in Writing and Literary Translation from Columbia University, where she taught in the Undergraduate Writing Program.