Translated from the Spanish by J. T. Lichtenstein.
These five dark and delicately written stories unfold in fragile worlds, where animal behaviors parallel the ways in which human beings interact with one another and react to their environments. Siamese fighting fish, cockroaches, a cat, a snake, and a strange fungus are mirrors that reflect the unconfessable aspects of human nature we keep hidden, buried. The traits and fates of these animals illuminate such deeply natural, human experiences as the cruelty born of cohabitation, the desire to reproduce or the struggle against it, and the inexplicable connection that can bind, eerily, two beings together.
In her precise writing, subtle and spellbinding, Nettel renders the ordinary unsettling, and the grotesque exquisite.
In each tale Nettel creates, with tightly wound narrative tension, a space wherein her characters feel excruciatingly human, exploring how the wounds we incur in life manifest themselves within us, clandestinely, irrevocably, both unseen and overtly.
Politics and fiction, protest and celebration, militancy and tenderness: Over the past twenty years, Seven Stories has earned a reputation for bringing books that might otherwise have been marginalized into the mainstream conversation. Our credo is that publishers have a special responsibility to defend free speech and celebrate the gifts of the imagination—from Noam Chomsky’s 9-11, a surprise bestseller that provided a dissident voice in a time of crisis, to the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler, which blazed a new path for the novel of conscience, to Innosanto Nagara’s A is for Activist, an ABC board book for a new generation of engaged young readers.
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