Longlist, National Book Awards 2018 for Translated Literature

Comemadre by Roque Larraquy book cover
ISBN 9781566895156
Coffee House Press
Roque Larraquy author photo, credit Pablo García
Roque Larraquy

Roque Larraquy is an Argentinian writer, screenwriter, professor of narrative and audiovisual design, and the author of two books, La comemadre and Informe sobre ectoplasma animal. More about this author >

Heather Cleary, Photo credit: Walter Funk
Heather Cleary

Heather Cleary’s translations include Sergio Chejfec’s The Planets and The Dark, both nominated for national awards, and a selection of Oliverio Girondo’s poetry. More about this author >

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Translated by Heather Cleary

In the outskirts of Buenos Aires in 1907, a doctor becomes involved in a misguided experiment that investigates the threshold between life and death. One hundred years later, a celebrated artist goes to extremes in search of aesthetic transformation, turning himself into an art object. How far are we willing to go, Larraquy asks, in pursuit of transcendence? The world of Comemadre is full of vulgarity, excess, and discomfort: strange ants that form almost perfect circles, missing body parts, obsessive love affairs, and man-eating plants. Darkly funny, smart, and engrossing, here the monstrous is not alien, but the consquence of our relentless pursuit of collective and personal progress.