by Fernanda Melchor

Paradais
Fernanda Melchor
Fitzcarraldo Editions - 17.00€ -

Inside a luxury housing complex, two misfit teenagers sneak around and get drunk. Franco Andrade, lonely, overweight, and addicted to porn, obsessively fantasizes about seducing his neighbour – an attractive married woman and mother – while Polo dreams about quitting his gruelling job as a gardener within the gated community and fleeing his overbearing mother and their narco-controlled village. Each facing the impossibility of getting what he thinks he deserves, Franco and Polo hatch a mindless and macabre scheme. Written in a chilling torrent of prose by one of our most thrilling new writers, Paradais explores the explosive fragility of Mexican society – fractured by issues of race, class and violence – and how the myths, desires, and hardships of teenagers can tear life apart at the seams.

‘With a nimble command of the novel’s technical resources and an uncanny grasp of the irrational forces at work in society, the books navigate a reality riven by violence, race, class, and sex. And they establish Melchor, who was born in 1982, as the latest of Faulkner’s Latin American inheritors, and among the most formidable.... In Melchor’s world, there’s no resisting the violence, much less hating it. All a novelist can do, she seems to suggest, is take a long, unsparing look at the hell that we’ve made.’
— Juan Gabriel Vázquez, New Yorker

Translated by Sophie Hughes.

Hurricane Season
Fernanda Melchor
New Directions Publishing - 17.00€ -  out of stock

The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse--by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals--propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters that most would write off as utterly irredeemable, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.

Like Roberto Bolano's 2666 or Faulkner's novels, Hurricane Season takes place in a world saturated with mythology and violence--real violence, the kind that seeps into the soil, poisoning everything around: it's a world that becomes more and more terrifying the deeper you explore it.

Translated by Sophie Hughes.

Published October 2020.

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