Mariana Enríquez: Argentina's Ghoulish Underbelly

There is a new generation of Latin American women whose stylish, gothic writing is finding enthusiastic readers all over the world. Alongside Chile’s Lina Meruane and Mexico’s Valeria Luiselli, Argentina has produced a cornucopia of talents including Samanta Schweblin, Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, and Mariana Enríquez, who returned to the Book Festival in 2021 fresh from her shortlisting for the International Booker Prize. ‘Her fiction hits with the full force of a train,’ says Dave Eggers about Enríquez, whose remarkable, explosive new book of short stories, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, is translated by Megan McDowell. In a kaleidoscopic array of vignettes set in overlooked corners of Buenos Aires, Enríquez superbly conjures up a set of oddball, punky, outsider characters who witness ghoulish apparitions, uncontrollable desires and weird imaginings. It is a visceral, fist-clenched assault on the senses – full-frontal fiction that feels perfectly attuned to our times. In this pre-recorded event, Enríquez joins us remotely for a discussion with Argentine author, translator and publisher Carolina Orloff.

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