Seven Empty Houses

Winner, National Book Awards 2022 for Translated Literature

Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin
ISBN 9780525541394
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House
Samanta Schweblin

Samanta Schweblin is the author of the novel Fever Dream, a finalist for the International Booker Prize, and the story collection A Mouthful of Birds, longlisted for the same prize. More about this author >

Megan McDowell

Megan McDowell has translated books by many contemporary South American and Spanish authors; her translations have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, Words Without Borders, and Vice, among other publications. More about this author >

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Translated from the Spanish 

From the publisher:

The seven houses in these seven stories are empty. Some are devoid of love or life or furniture, of people or the truth or of memories. But in Samanta Schweblin’s tense, visionary tales, something always creeps back in: a ghost, a fight, trespassers, a list of things to do before you die, a child’s first encounter with a dark choice or the fallibility of parents.

This was the collection that established Samanta Schweblin at the forefront of a new generation of Latin American writers. And now in English it will push her cult status to new heights. Seven Empty Houses is an entrypoint into a fiercely original mind, and a slingshot into Schweblin’s destabilizing, exhilarating literary world.

In each story, the twists and turns will unnerve and surprise: Schweblin never takes the expected path and instead digs under the skin and reveals uncomfortable truths about our sense of home, of belonging, and of the fragility of our connections with others. This is a masterwork from one of our most brilliant writers.

Judges Citation

Samanta Schweblin’s Seven Empty Houses is a deft collection of seven stories that carries the reader in and out of the fragility of the mind, the spirit, and the body. Characters are caught in the madness of their homes, the dysfunction of their families, and the panic of immediate terror. Megan McDowell’s stunning translation expertly embraces Schweblin’s haunting prose. These stories will stick in your mind, under your skin, and deep in your dreams.


Samanta Schweblin and Megan McDowell accept 2022 National Book Award for Translated Literature for Seven Empty Houses

Samanta Schweblin and Megan McDowell at the 2022 National Book Awards Finalist Reading