French Edition of Mayra Santos-Febres’ “Sirena Selena vestida de pena”


Mayra Santos-Febres’ Sirena Selena vestida de pena is now available in French (June 2017, Éditions Zulma). Translated by François-Michel Durazzo, Sirena Selena is being launched at bookstores all over Paris this week, such as Librairie L’Attrape Coeurs at 8:00pm tonight (June 27, 2017). The book has already garnered attention in the French press with reviews in Le Canard enchaîné and Le Monde (Monde des livres: “Mayra Santos-Febres célèbre les Caraïbes queer”).

Although I do not like Éditions Zulma’s description of the novel very much (or the French tagline: “A man, a woman, an angel fallen from heaven or a teenage Lucifer”) here is my translation from the original:

Description (Éditions Zulma): Sublime diva from Puerto Rico’s gay districts, with an angel’s voice and perfect glamor, glittering blush and lamé dress, Sirena Selena bewitches, stirring one’s soul with the poignant airs of the boleros her grandmother once sang to her. And then there is the other side of the coin, her life as a boy, her previous life, stories told between two sets, two numbers: Luisito Cristal, queen of debauchery, with the help of acid; Valentina, big sister in prostitution, departed too soon; the street; the excesses; the wanderings—and a whole carnival of lust, drag-queens, crazy futurists, Diana Rosses or Bette Midlers more real than the originals…

Miss Martha Divine, owner of the Danubio Azul, has great ambitions for her protégé: to make her the star of the palaces of Santo Domingo, and to finally be able to pay for the ultimate surgery … Plans that do not take love into account—a discreet man ready to love Sirena as he had always wanted to love a woman. A novel that is raw, extravagant, moving.

See original description at

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