The “propulsive and mesmerizing” (The New York Times) story collection by the International Booker–shortlisted author of The Dangers of Smoking in Bed and Our Share of Night—now with a new short story.
The short stories of Mariana Enriquez are:
“The most exciting discovery I’ve made in fiction for some time.”—Kazuo Ishiguro
“Violent and cool, told in voices so lucid they feel spoken.”—The Boston Globe (Best Books of the Year)
Electric, disturbing, and exhilarating, the stories of Things We Lost in the Fire explore multiple dimensions of life and death in contemporary Argentina. Each haunting tale simmers with the nation's troubled history, but among the abandoned houses, black magic, superstitions, lost loves and regrets, there is also friendship, compassion, and humor. Translated by the National Book Award-winning Megan McDowell, these “slim but phenomenal” (Vanity Fair) stories ask the biggest questions of life and show why Mariana Enriquez has become one of the most celebrated new voices in global literature.
Morbid tales of contemporary Argentina animate Enriquez's memorable collection of short fiction. In "The Dirty Kid," a privileged woman comes to believe that the homeless boy who lives outside her building has been the victim of a beheading, only to later learn that his fate is much more complicated. A young girl inexplicably disappears into an abandoned home, never to be seen again, in "Adela's House," while a broken-down car causes a tenuous marriage to disintegrate in "Spiderweb." At their best, stories such as "An Invocation of the Big-Eared Runt" recall Stephen King at his most literary, grounding supernatural horror allegories in a detailed realist tableau. But even the weaker sections convey the singular strangeness of life as a woman in Argentina, where instability seems to haunt every facet of existence the electricity, the currency, the concept of family and sudden, otherworldly violence is always at one's doorstep. Enriquez's debut collection is elevated by its vivid locale and its deft inclusion of genre sensibilities.
An Argentinian gothic classic
These stories come to life with the authors vibrant storytelling. You are transported into slums, haunted houses, deserted roads, and the psychological terror of her characters. Some stories have a stronger presence but all stay lingering far after you turn the page.