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Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino

Julián Herbert; Translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
In this madcap, insatiably inventive, bravura story collection, Julián Herbert brings to vivid life people who struggle to retain a measure of sanity in an insane world. Here we become acquainted with a vengeful “personal memories coach” who tries to get even with his delinquent clients; a former journalist with a cocaine habit who travels through northern Mexico impersonating a famous author of Westerns; the ghost of Juan Rulfo; a man who discovers music in his teeth; and, in the deliriously pulpy title story, a drug lord who looks just like Quentin Tarantino, who kidnaps a mopey film critic to discuss Tarantino’s films while he sends his goons to find and kill the doppelgänger that has colonized his consciousness. Herbert’s astute observations about human nature in extremis feel like the reader’s own revelations.

The antic and often dire stories in Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino depict the violence and corruption that plague Mexico today, but they are also deeply ruminative and layered explorations of the narrative impulse and the ethics of art making. Herbert asks: Where are the lines between fiction, memory, and reality? What is the relationship between power, corruption, and survival? How much violence can a person (and a country) take? The stories in this explosive collection showcase the fevered imagination of a significant contemporary writer.

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Virtuosic stories by one of “the more interesting and ambitious prose stylists of our time” (Los Angeles Times)

About the Author

Julián  Herbert
Credit: Germán Siller

Julián Herbert was born in Acapulco in 1971. He is a writer, musician, and teacher, and is the author of The House of the Pain of Others and Tomb Song, as well as several volumes of poetry and two story collections. He lives in Saltillo, Mexico.

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Christina MacSweeney is the translator of The House of the Pain of Others and Tomb Song by Julián Herbert, and has published translations, articles, and interviews on a wide variety of platforms and contributed to several anthologies. She was awarded the 2016 Valle Inclán Translation Prize for her translation of Valeria Luiselli's The Story of My Teeth. She lives in England.
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Upcoming Events

VIRTUAL: Julián Herbert (BRING ME THE HEAD OF QUENTIN TARANTINO) teaching masterclass, presented by Lit & Luz Festival Cont'd

Lit & Luz Festival Cont'd in Chicago, ILview map

10 AM Pacific / 12 PM Central / 1 PM Eastern. Limited to seven students and presented in English. On Zoom. Tickets are $60. Register here.


  • “Explosive, visceral, and impossible to forget.”Booklist
  • “[A] rising star. . . . [Julián Herbert] absolutely nails sour, blustery men. . . . The results are both entertaining and corrosive, disturbing and socially relevant, sordid and sleekly accomplished.”Library Journal
  • “The playful, surreal collection from Mexican writer Herbert evokes a version of contemporary Mexico where pretentious critics and conceptual artists rub up against ultra-violent drug cartel leaders. . . . Herbert’s stories use a light touch to explore the dilemma of the intellectual enmeshed in a crudely vicious world. This provocatively cerebral volume should amuse those with a taste for literary horror.”Publishers Weekly
  • “Electrifying. . . . Reunited with award-winning translator Christina MacSweeney, Herbert presents 10 stories ready to disturb, quite possibly even disgust. That said, even for the most reluctant readers, the surprisingly immersive humor and slyly playful wit make resistance futile.”—Shelf Awareness
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