2018 Tournament of Books Winner
Disorienting and disquieting, Fever Dream reads exactly like how its title suggests. Amanda is dying in a hospital bed, accompanied only by a small boy who is not her son. Together, they try to figure out what exactly happened to bring them to this moment. Told almost entirely through dialogue, this incredibly well-crafted little novel slowly unravels its mysteries until the moment when you least expect it and the fever breaks, and you're left there stunned. Recommended By Nicole S, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"Genius." Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker
"Samanta Schweblin's electric story reads like a Fever Dream." Vanity Fair
Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize!
Experience the blazing, surreal sensation of a fever dream...
A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She's not his mother. He's not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.
Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story, and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel.
"I picked up Fever Dream in the wee hours, and a low, sick thrill took hold of me as I read it. I was checking the locks in my apartment by page thirty. By the time I finished the book, I couldn’t bring myself to look out the windows…. [T]he genius of Fever Dream is less in what it says than in how Schweblin says it, with a design at once so enigmatic and so disciplined that the book feels as if it belongs to a new literary genre altogether." Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker
"Never have I ever been so afraid to read a book right before bed." Marie Claire
"Mesmerizing… Schweblin, though, is an artist of remarkable restraint… Schweblin renders psychological trauma with such alacrity that the conceit of a poisoned environment feels almost beside the point." Washington Post
"A taut, exquisite page-turner vibrating with existential distress and cumulative dread…. While the book resides in the realm of the uncanny, its concerns are all too real. Once the top blows off Schweblin’s chest of horrors, into which we’d been peeking through a masterfully manipulated crack, what remains is an unsettling and significant dissection of maternal love and fear, of the devastation we’ve left to the future, and of our inability to escape or control the unseen and unimagined threats all around us. In a literary thriller of the highest order, Schweblin teases out the underlying anxieties of being vulnerable and loving vulnerable creatures and of being an inhabitant of a planet with an increasingly uncertain future." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
About the Author
Samanta Schweblin was chosen as one of the 22 best writers in Spanish under the age of 35 by Granta. She is the author of three story collections that have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Juan Rulfo Story Prize, and been translated into 20 languages. Fever Dream is her first novel. Originally from Buenos Aires, she lives in Berlin.
Megan McDowell has translated books by many contemporary South American and Spanish authors, and her translations have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, Words Without Borders, and Vice, among other publications. She lives in Chile.