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Descripción de editorial
“The lauded Argentine author of What We Lost in the Fire returns with enthralling stories conjured from literary sorcery” (O: The Oprah Magazine), in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and Jorge Luis Borges.
Mariana Enriquez has been critically lauded for her unconventional and sociopolitical stories of the macabre. Populated by unruly teenagers, crooked witches, homeless ghosts, and hungry women, they walk the uneasy line between urban realism and horror. The stories in her new collection are as terrifying as they are socially conscious, and press into being the unspoken—fetish, illness, the female body, the darkness of human history—with bracing urgency. A woman is sexually obsessed with the human heart; a lost, rotting baby crawls out of a backyard and into a bedroom; a pair of teenage girls can’t let go of their idol; an entire neighborhood is cursed to death when it fails to respond correctly to a moral dilemma.
Written against the backdrop of contemporary Argentina, and with a resounding tenderness toward those in pain, in fear, and in limbo, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is Mariana Enriquez at her most sophisticated, and most chilling.
The alleys and slums of Buenos Aires supply the backdrop to Enriquez's harrowing and utterly original collection (after Things We Lost in the Fire), which illuminates the pitch-dark netherworld between urban squalor and madness. In the nightmarish opener, "Angelita Unearthed," the bones of a rotting child reanimate after being dug up; likewise, in "Back When We Talked to the Dead," the dead foretell dread using a Ouija board. Themes of obsession and the arcane come to light in "Our Lady of the Quarry," where a band of teenage girls turn to witchcraft to snare the object of their desires; "Meat," which follows two grave-robbing fans of a recently deceased rock star; and "Where Are You, Dear Heart?", in which a self-described "heartbeat fetishist" gets off by holding a stethoscope to a diseased man's chest. Things grow darker still in "Rambla Triste," as the victims of a pedophile ring are resurrected in Barcelona as "incarnations of the city's madness," and in "Kids Who Come Back," the book's epic and visceral centerpiece, in which the missing, damned, and destitute begin returning home. (Which isn't to discount the grotesque title story or the exorcism at the heart of "The Well.") Finally, there are the pair of film fanatics who undertake made-to-order pornography only to quickly get in over their heads in "No Birthdays or Baptisms." Enriquez's wide-ranging imagination and ravenous appetite for morbid scenarios often reaches sublime heights. Adventurous readers will be rewarded in these trips into the macabre and hopefully they'll be able to find their way back.