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."
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
About the Author
The New York Times described GUADALUPE NETTEL's acclaimed English-language debut, Natural Histories, as -five flawless stories.- A Bogota 39 author and Granta -Best Untranslated Writer, - Nettel has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Gilberto Owen National Literature Prize, the Antonin Artaud Prize, the Ribera del Duero Short Fiction Award, and the Anna Seghers Prize. She was short-list for the Neustadt Prize, and most recently, won the 2014 Herralde Novel Prize. The Body Where I Was Born, a novel of an unconventional childhood in the seventies, is her first novel to appear in English. Nick Flynn called it -utterly compelling .... [Nettel] has brilliantly found a form to contain the multitudes of what one body can hold.- She lives and works in Mexico City.
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