Translated from the Spanish by J.T. Lichtenstein
The first novel to appear in English by one of the most talked-about and critically acclaimed writers of new Mexican fiction.
From a psychoanalyst's couch, the narrator looks back on her bizarre childhood. Born with an abnormality in her eye and a family intent on fixing it, she occupies a world without the time and space for innocence. The narrator intimately recalls her younger self—a fierce and discerning girl open to life’s pleasures and keen to its ruthless cycle of tragedy.
With raw language and a brilliant sense of humor, both delicate and unafraid, Guadalupe Nettel strings together hard-won, unwieldy memories—taking us from Mexico City to Aix-en-Provence, France, then back home again—to create a portrait of the artist as a young girl. In The Body Where I Was Born, Nettel’s artful storytelling transforms experience into inspiration and a new startling perception of reality.
We sat down with writer and master translator Suzanne Jill Levine at the Seven Stories offices to discuss how she became a translator in the first place, her pioneering book The Subversive Scribe, literalism vs. essentialism in translation, and her work translating Seven Stories authors Guadalupe Nettel's forthcoming Bezoar and Other Unsettling Stories (2020) and Luis Negrón's brilliant, outrageous Mundo Cruel. A verité interview complete with phones ringing, doors closing, and some warm-up chatter in the beginning. Hope you enjoy!