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Nettel's protagonist is preternaturally wise and aware of her self--mind, body, and soul--as "being different." She navigates bizarre parental hemispheres, all the while developing her powers of observation into artistry. A wonderful novel from the author of the short story collection NATURAL HISTORIES. She writes: "the origin of this tale lies in the need to understand certain events and certain dynamics that formed this complex amalgam--this mosaic of images, memories, emotions--that breathes within me, remembers with me, entwines others, and takes refuge in a pencil the way others take refuge in drinking or gambling."
— From Gina's Picks
The first novel to appear in English by one of the most talked-about and critically acclaimed writers of new Mexican fiction.
From a psychoanalyst's couch, the narrator looks back on her bizarre childhood--in which she was born with an abnormality in her eye into a family intent on fixing it. In a world without the time and space for innocence, the narrator intimately recalls her younger self--a fierce and discerning girl open to life's pleasures and keen to its ruthless cycle of tragedy.
With raw language and a brilliant sense of humor, both delicate and unafraid, Nettel strings together hard-won, unwieldy memories--taking us from Mexico City to Aix-en-Provence, France, then back home again--to create a portrait of the artist as a young girl. In these pages, Nettel's art of storytelling transforms experience into inspiration and a new startling perception of reality.
"Nettel's eye...gives rise to a tension, subtle but persistent, that immerses us in an uncomfortable reality, disquieting, even disturbing--a gaze that illuminates her prose like an alien sun shining down on our world." --Valeria Luiselli, author of Sidewalks
and Faces in the Crowd
"It has been a long time since I've found in the literature of my generation a world as personal and untransferable as that of Guadalupe Nettel." --Juan Gabriel Vasquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling
"Nettel reveals the subliminal beauty within beings...and painstakingly examines the intimacies of her soul." --Magazine Litteraire
"Guadalupe Nettel's storytelling power is majestic."--Typographical Era In Praise of Natural Histories
"Five flawless stories..." --The New York Times
"Nettel's stories are as atmospheric and emotionally battering as Checkhov's."--Asymptote