Natural Histories: Stories (Paperback)

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Quiet. Haunting. Surreal. The stories that make up Guadalupe Nettel’s collection NATURAL HISTORIES are subtle, yet they stay with you long after reading. The simplest way to describe these stories is to say they are about the relationships we have with one another and the animals in our lives, but that’s selling them short. Very short. Nettel’s characters are often found at moments of emotional distress. The way we act, behave, and treat ourselves in these instances says a lot about human nature. Is Nettel writing about human nature or animal nature? Or is she writing about the animal inside each of us? In any case, characters have epiphanies with the help of their animal counterparts. In “The Marriage of a Red Fish,” a woman witnesses the collapse of her marriage through the lens of a pair of Siamese fighting fish, whose fatal cohabitation reflects the actions of the husband and wife. Other stories are more subtle and perverse, exploring how the natural world dictates our lives. The English speaking world will be able to read her memoir THE BODY WHERE I WAS BORN in 2015. Additionally, this November, Nettel was awarded Anagrama’s prestigious Herralde Prize, whose past winners include Roberto Bolaño and Álvaro Enrigue. I am excited to read everything by this author.

— From Natural Histories (Guadalupe Nettel)

Description


Siamese fighting fish, cockroaches, cats, a snake, and a strange fungus all serve here as mirrors that reflect the unconfessable aspects of human nature buried within us. The traits and fates of these animals illuminate such deeply natural, human experiences as the cruelty born of cohabitation, the desire to reproduce and the impulse not to, and the inexplicable connection that can bind, eerily, two beings together. Each Nettel tale 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.
In a precise writing style that is both subtle and spellbinding, Nettel renders the ordinary unsettling, and the grotesque exquisite. "Natural Histories" is the winner of the 3rd Ribera del Duero International Award for Short Narratives, an important Spanish literature prize.

"From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author


One of the most talked-about writers of contemporary Mexican fiction, GUADALUPE NETTEL is a Bogota 39 author and Granta Best Untranslated Writer. Her novels and collections of short stories have received international critical acclaim and won awards in both Europe and Latin America, including the Mexican Gilberto Owen National Literature Prize and the Antonin Artaud Prize. "Natural Histories," for which she won the 2013 Ribera del Duero Short Fiction Award, and her novel "The Body Where I was Born" (Seven Stories Press, 2015) are her first books to be published in English. Nettel lives in Mexico City. "From the eBook edition.""
Product Details
ISBN: 9781609806057
ISBN-10: 1609806050
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
Pages: 128
Language: English