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The Queens Of Sarmiento Park

Camila Sosa Villada

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A richly imaginative, surreal and deeply moving novel from Argentina about a group of trans sex workers who adopt a baby boy

Auntie Encarna's house is the queerest boarding house in the world. For Camila, who grew up as a boy in a small town in Argentina, but now lives as a woman, it is home. The queens around her are her family: Auntie Encarna, who is 178 years old; Maria, who can't speak, and has feathers growing out of her back; and a host of other glittering characters.

At night, they head together to Sarmiento Park, in the heart of the city, a large green lung with a zoo and a theme park. Potential johns cruise by in their cars, slowing down to inspect the group before selecting one with the wave of an arm. The chosen woman answers their call. Night after night, nothing changes.

Until, one freezing night, Auntie Encarna hears crying coming from the bushes. A baby boy, lost and alone. Auntie Encarna puts him in her handbag and brings him home, determined to protect him. To be a mother.

But the forces of oppression, prejudice and fear surround the family and their foundling - and soon the happiness they clutched at begins to seem like an impossible fairy tale ...

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Praise for The Queens Of Sarmiento Park

  • Camila Sosa Villada draws inspiration from her past in prostitution and the legend of an Argentine saint for The Queens of Sarmiento Park, a tribute to sex workers, suffused with magic - Le Monde

  • A language that seems to come from dreams, fairy tales, and adventure novels ... a literary sensation - Rolling Stone (Argentina)

  • A tender testimony to the concrete poetry that is born outside the boundaries of our righteous, corseted world - taz, die tagezeitung (Germany)

  • Not just a documentary fiction about the trans scene, but also a deeply poetic work about a group of outcasts who try with all their might to protect themselves from violence and exclusion through sisterhood, solidarity and joie de vivre - Deutschlandfunk kultur

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