A slick, darkly ironic love story - set between Paris and New York - for fans of Junot Diaz
A shy young Mexican woman moves to Paris to study literature. Cecilia has few friends, and a morbid fascination with watching the funerals taking place in the cemetery outside her apartment. She suddenly strikes up a close platonic relationship with her neighbour, a sickly young man who shares her interest in death and believes we can communicate with the dead. After coming to entirely depend on him for company and routine, Cecilia is left devastated by his decision to go to Sicily for his health, and is left alone in an unfriendly city once more.
Claudio, meanwhile, lives in New York with the submissive, quiet, but very wealthy Ruth. She makes few demands of him, whilst acquiescing to all his desires and indulging his obsessive, misogynistic nature. He meets Cecilia by chance whilst visiting a friend in Paris and these two very different stories collide with transformative consequences.
Translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey
Nettel creates marvellous parallels between the sorrows and follies of her human characters and the creatures they live with. - New York Times.
The gaze [Nettel] turns on madnesses both temperate and destructive, on manias, on deviances, is so sharp that it has us seeing straight into our own obsessions. - Le Monde.
Guadalupe Nettel is one of the most interesting voices of the new Mexican fiction. - La Vanguardia.
The career of this young storyteller is worth keeping an eye on. A master of style, with a marvelous poetic naturalism, her ideas and manners distinguish her from what we are accustomed to in Mexican literature. - El Cultural.
Guadalupe Nettel, a Bogota 39 author and Granta "Best Untranslated Writer," has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Gilberto Owen National Literature Prize, the Antonin Artaud Prize, the Ribera del Duero Short Fiction Award, and most recently the 2014 Herralde Novel Prize for After the Winter.