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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 Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling
"Nettel reveals the subliminal beauty within beings…and painstakingly examines the intimacies of her soul." —Magazine Littéraire
“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