Thanks to this book, year 2020 won’t be the year of COVID or lockdowns for me. I will remember it as the year when I discovered Fernanda Melchor.
I thought nobody could displace Horacio Castellanos Moya from my pantheon of favorite authors. And don’t get me wrong, I still love him. But Fernanda Melchor is so impossibly good that I feel like I’ve been hit over the head with a sack of gold dust. I had to pause my reading many times because the pleasure of reading something so good was hard to bear.
If you read in Spanish, please, do yourself a favor and read this book. If not, remember that there is an English translation. The delicious Mexican slang will be lost to you but it’s still better than nothing.
This isn’t a happy, cheery novel. This is Mexican literature, which invariably means it’s devastating. And with what Mexico has become, today its literature is particularly so. If you remember my post about the hourglass metaphor, Melchor’s book is about people who have no lower bulb at all. The result is a realist novel that’s scarier than anything I’ve ever read in the horror genre. Remember that old movie where an alien invades an astronaut’s body and then rips out through the chest? That’s what Melchor’s characters are but without the sci-fi aspect.
It truly was worth learning Spanish and reading books in Spanish for 20 years just to be able to find this novel.
P.S. After writing this post, I went on Twitter to express my love for this phenomenal writer. And what did I discover? Well, that’s obvious. She’s been chased off Twitter by the woke mob for an un-PC tweet.
The book still exists, though. And it’s waiting for you.