Mariana Enriquez: 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 today’s guest, Mariana Enríquez, who returns to the Book Festival fresh from her recent 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. Enríquez joins us for a discussion with Argentine author, translator and publisher Carolina Orloff.