Translated from the Spanish by J. T. Lichtenstein
These five dark and delicately written stories unfold in fragile worlds, where animal behaviors parallel the ways in which human beings interact with one another and react to their environments. Siamese fighting fish, cockroaches, a cat, a snake, and a strange fungus are mirrors that reflect the unconfessable aspects of human nature we keep hidden, buried. The traits and fates of these animals illuminate such deeply natural, human experiences as the cruelty born of cohabitation, the desire to reproduce or the struggle against it, and the inexplicable connection that can bind, eerily, two beings together.
In her precise writing, subtle and spellbinding, Nettel renders the ordinary unsettling, and the grotesque exquisite.
In each tale Nettel creates, with tightly wound narrative tension, a space wherein her characters feel excruciatingly human, exploring how the wounds we incur in life manifest themselves within us, clandestinely, irrevocably, both unseen and overtly.
"Guadalupe Nettel is one of the most interesting voices of the new Mexican fiction." –J.A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia
"Seasoned readers will delight in this literary voice, new to the landscape of Latin American literature, a voice sophisticated as it is original." –Arcadia
"Guadalupe Nettel reveals the subliminal beauty within beings of odd behavior and painstakingly examines the intimacies of her soul." –Magazine Littéraire
"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 Vásquez
"The career of this young storyteller is worth keeping an eye on. A master of style, with a marvelous poetic naturalism, her ideas and manners distinguish her from what we are accustomed to in Mexican literature." –Joaquin Marco, El Cultural