Fernanda Melchor's English debut, Hurricane Season (translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes), was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award for Translated Literature. Written with unflinching ferocity and propulsive prose, Hurricane Season is an unrelenting torrent of violence, barbarity, recrimination, sex, greed, trauma, corruption, neglect, fear, lust, deceit, baseness, and the insidiousness of evil — making it simultaneously both scintillating and suffocating. The Mexican author’s new novel possesses an inescapable inertia and her thematic confrontation of malevolence and forever-stymied attempts at redemption combine to create a remarkable, indelible (if brutal) work of art. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The English-language debut of one of the most thrilling and accomplished young Mexican writers.
Longlisted for the National Book Award
Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize
Winner of the Internationaler Literaturpreis
The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse ― by a group of
children playing near the irrigation canals ― propels the whole village
into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and
suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic
torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering on new details, new
acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of
humanity from these characters that most would write off as utterly
irredeemable, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.
Like Roberto Bolano's
2666 or Faulkner's greatest novels,
Hurricane Season takes place in a world filled with mythology and
violence ― real violence, the kind that seeps into the soil, poisoning
everything around: it's a world that becomes more terrifying and more
terrifyingly real the deeper you explore it.
Now in paperback, Fernanda Melchor's Hurricane Season is "a bilious, profane, blood-spattered tempest of rage" (The Wall Street Journal), that casts "a powerful spell" (NPR): "a narrative that not only decries an atrocity but embodies the beauty and vitality it perverts" (The New York Times)
"Fernanda Melchor has a powerful voice, and by powerful I mean unsparing, devastating, the voice of someone who writes with rage, and has the skill to pull it off." Samanta Schweblin
"Brutal, relentless, beautiful, fugal, Hurricane Season explores the violent mythologies of one Mexican village and reveals how they touch the global circuitry of capitalist greed. This is an inquiry into the sexual terrorism and terror of broken men. This is a work of both mystery and critique. Most recent fiction seems anemic by comparison." Ben Lerner
"Intertwined voices spiral around the mysterious murder of The Witch in an isolated tropical town, revealing its depravities, secrets, family tragedies, violence, accumulating into a narrative hurricane that howls and devastates but also subsides into renewed light. Hurricane Season — a dark fable that captures the horrors and despair of contemporary Mexico as no other novel has — is already widely regarded as a contemporary Mexican classic." Francisco Goldman
"Hurricane Season is a potent brew, an incantatory simmer of violence, sin, and envy, a thick, salty, blood-dark drink. Melchor dares her read to peer right into the story's roiling heart as she peels back village lusts and jealousies layer by layer, excavating a monstrous turbulence dwelling beneath, grotesque and darkly beguiling." Alexandra Kleeman
"Hurricane Season is an intense and hypnotic literary experience, where physical violence and the hostility of the landscape for a microcosm of helplessness. Fernanda Melchor's narrative maturity is powerful: a book that leaves you shaken." Mariana Enriquez
"Fernanda Melchor not only writes with the furious power that is required by the issues at hand, but on each page she shows that she has an eye and ear for it, as well as a sharpness rarely seen in our literature." Yuri Herrera
"...a furious vortex of voices that swirl around a murder in a provincial Mexican town." Publishers Weekly
"Melchor draws on disparate traditions (from crime fiction to García Márquez novels) to create a masterpiece that is very much her own." Words Without Borders
"Melchor tells us a tale as wondrously grotesque and captivating as a Bosch triptych narrated by a raunchy female Cormac McCarthy." Southern Review of Books
About the Author
Fernanda Melchor, born in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1982, is widely recognized as one of the most exciting new voices of Mexican literature. Her collection This Is Not Miami is also forthcoming from New Directions.
Sophie Hughes has translated numerous Spanish-language authors, including José Revueltas and Fernanda Melchor for New Directions.