June 26, 2014
Opening up today’s New York Times, we were delighted to see Carmela Ciuraru’s write-up of Natural Histories, the slim collection of short fiction that marks the U.S. debut of Mexican literary superstar Guadalupe Nettel, as well as ace translator J.T. Lichtenstein. Check it out:
By Guadalupe Nettel, translated by J. T. Lichtenstein
125 pages. Seven Stories. $18.95.
Perhaps Guadalupe Nettel is onto something: Publish a slim collection of five flawless stories, rather than a larger, more uneven batch. An award-winning Mexican writer, Ms. Nettel creates marvelous parallels between the sorrows and follies of her human characters and the creatures they live with — whether as pets or pests. In the first story, a Paris lawyer becomes fixated on her Siamese fighting fish, a male-female pair, determined to preserve their harmonious existence as her marriage continues “its gradual course toward putrefaction.” In “War in the Trash Cans,” following a bizarre plan of attack in response to a cockroach infestation, a young girl spots one more in the corner of her room. Yet she finds an odd sense of companionship with this “orphaned cockroach, probably frightened, who didn’t know which way to turn.” Throughout, Ms. Nettel offers her keen attention and sympathy to any living thing struggling to get by.
Yes yes y’all!