Things We Lost in the Fire

By Mariana Enriquez,

Book cover of Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories

Book description

'A portrait of a world in fragments, a mirrorball made of razor blades' Guardian

Sleep-deprived fathers conjuring phantoms; sharp-toothed children and stolen skulls; persecuted young women drawn to self-immolation. Organized crime sits side-by-side with the occult in Buenos Aires - a place where reality and the preternatural fuse into strange,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Things We Lost in the Fire as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a year in 1988, five years after the last military dictatorship ended. I remember seeing the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo holding vigils in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace for los desaparecidos, their children who 'disappeared' during the last dictatorship. Enriquez creates strange, dense worlds of horror in these stories, with dark, unexplained, and sometimes magical undercurrents. The stories are not directly about the events, but reference them obliquely, only adding to the terror. Enriquez’s writing style blew me away, and her stories defy easy categorisation.

Another contemporary book of Latin American magical realism, this one is perhaps subtlest in its surrealism and has most in common with the American Gothic tradition of Edgar Allan Poe. Things We Lost in the Fire reveals to us an Argentina filled with ghosts and haunted houses and satanic rituals while simultaneously bringing the country as it is today to vivid, powerful life. 

From Daniel's list on Latin American magical realism.

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