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Hurricane Season
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An urgent and captivating tale of dark magic and small-town corruption from one of the most thrilling and accomplished young Mexican writers.

About the Author

Fernanda Melchor was born in 1982 in Veracruz, Mexico. She is widely recognised as one of the most exciting new voices of Mexican literature. In 2018, she won the PEN Mexico Award for Literary and Journalistic Excellence and in 2019 the German Anna-Seghers-Preis and the International Literature Award for Hurricane Season.

Sophie Hughes has translated works by a number of Spanish-language writers, including Enrique Vila-Matas, and Alia Trabucco Zeran.

Reviews

'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 *
'Melchor wields a sentence like a saber. She never flinches in the bold, precise strokes of Hurricane Season. In prose as precise and breathtaking as it is unsettling, Melchor has crafted an unprecedented novel about femicide in Mexico and how poverty and extreme power imbalances lead to violence everywhere.' * Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew *
'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, author of The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World *
'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, author of The Topeka School *
'A dazzling novel and the English-language debut of one of Mexico's most exciting new voices.' -- Marta Bausells * Guardian *
'Fernanda Melchor is part of a wave of real writing, a multi-tongue, variform, generationless, decadeless, ageless wave, that American contemporary literature must ignore if it is to hold on to its infantile worldview.' * Jesse Ball, author of The Divers' Game *
'Hurricane Season is a hell of a force to be reckoned with.' * Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond *
'A bravura performance, teeming with life and fury. Melchor takes a single, brutal act and explodes it, giving voice to the legacies of tragedy and violence within, and daring us to look away.' * Sam Byers, author of Perfidious Albion *
'Hurricane Season is an unrelenting torrent of violence, barbarity, recrimination, sex, greed, trauma, corruption, neglect, fear, lust, deceit, baseness, and the insidiousness of evil. The young Mexican author writes with unflinching ferocity and her propulsive prose is simultaneously scintillating and suffocating...Inspired by a story Melchor encountered in a local newspaper, Hurricane Season offers a testimonial of our increasingly depraved age of disconnection and disposability. A remarkable, indelible work of art.' * Powell's Books *
'Written with pain and enormous skill, in a rhythm at once tearing and hypnotic, Hurricane Season is an account of the wreckage of a forsaken Mexico governed by nightmarish jungle law. An important, brave novel by a writer of extraordinary talent, magnificently translated by Sophie Hughes.' * Alia Trabucco Zeran, author of The Remainder *
'Propelled by a violent lyricism and stunning immediacy, Hurricane Season maps out a landscape in which social corrosion acquires a mythical shape. This masterful portrayal of contemporary Mexico, so vertiginous and bewitching it pulls you into its spiritual abyss from the opening page, is brilliantly rendered into English by Sophie Hughes. Fernanda Melchor is a remarkable talent.' * Chloe Aridjis, author of Sea Monsters *
'Melchor's English-language debut is a furious vortex of voices that swirl around a murder in a provincial Mexican town. Forceful, frenzied, violent, and uncompromising, Melchor's depiction of a town ogling its own destruction is a powder keg that ignites on the first page and sustains its intense, explosive heat until its final sentence.' * Publishers Weekly *
'In thrilling, furious sentences, Fernanda Melchor tells the story of a femicide in rural Mexico. She examines the people who congregated around the victim-a witch-until her death: the young men in search of cocaine and cheap sex, and the even younger women who came to her looking for illegal abortions. In tracing the events that led up to the gruesome crime, Melchor reveals the psychological and socioeconomic mechanisms that underpin the sugarcane-surrounded town of La Matosa. The titular hurricanes not only hint at the prevailing conditions in the town, but, thanks to the power of the author's language, even seem to descend upon us.' * Daniel Medin, The American University of Paris *
'In Hurricane Season, Fernanda Melchor exorcises the violence endemic to Mexico, particularly when it comes to women. A stunning novel...Only a writer who does not falter in the face of horror is a capable of evoking this world without resorting to the sordid. Melchor has a wonderful way with words; hers is a vision to be reckoned with.' * Le Monde *
'A singular narrative voice: Reading as a sensory experience.' * La Tempestad *
'A nocturnal journey into the abyss of the human soul, written in the most radical style of her generation.' * Martin Solares *
'This is fiction with the brakes off. Not an Oprah book club pick, one suspects, but not a novel to be missed-if you can steel yourself.' * Guardian *
'A brutal portrait of small-town claustrophobia, in which machismo is a prison and corruption isn't just institutional but domestic, with families broken by incest and violence. Melchor's long, snaking sentences make the book almost literally unputdownable, shifting our grasp of key events by continually creeping up on them from new angles. A formidable debut.' -- Anthony Cummins * Guardian *
'Melchor's English-language debut is a furious vortex of voices that swirl around a murder in a provincial Mexican town. Forceful, frenzied, violent, and uncompromising, Melchor's depiction of a town ogling its own destruction is a powder keg that ignites on the first page and sustains its intense, explosive heat until its final sentence.' * Publishers Weekly *
'Mexican writer Melchor's first book published in English is remarkable for the sheer force of its language. Melchor has deep reserves of talent and nerve. Engrossingly feverish.' * Kirkus *
'Melchor's writing is intoxicating, taking the reader on a brutal journey, barely giving you time to breathe.' * Better Read Than Dead *
'Though there are glitters of humour and empathy, Hurricane Season is an uncompromisingly savage piece of work: difficult to escape from, built to shock. Yet it's also elating. I was left buoyed up by Melchor's anger, elated because she had shown me things I needed to be faced with.' * Guardian *
'Makes Once Were Warriors look a bit like Jane Austen.' * Radio NZ *
'Swirling with violence, dark suspense and intense fury.' * Happy Mag *
'A bilious, profane, blood-spattered tempest of rage against what one character calls 'the full, brutal force of male vice.' The chapters, written in obscenity-laden free indirect speech, are not monologues so much as diatribes. Sophie Hughes's translation carries their furious momentum into English....This is the Mexico of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian or Roberto Bolano's 2666, where the extremes of evil create a pummeling, hyper-realistic effect. But the 'elemental cry' of Ms. Melchor's writing voice, a composite of anger and anguish, is entirely her own.' * Wall Street Journal *
'The crime is not an act but an entire atmosphere, which Melchor captures in language as though distilling venom...Melchor creates a narrative that not only decries an atrocity but embodies the beauty and vitality it perverts.' * New York Times *
'A linguistic blitzkrieg... There is a lot of talk about authenticity in fiction, and Melchor achieves it through her words. Hurricane Season is a dark celebration of language.' * NPR *
'This is a novel that sinks like lead to the bottom of the soul and remains there, its images full of color, its characters alive and raging against their fate...Its terrible beauty carves a wound, painful enough to startle us out of our complacency.' * LA Review of Books *
'Mexican novelist Fernanda Melchor makes her unforgettable English-language debut with Hurricane Season, the snarled story of a witch murdered in the village of La Matosa...Melchor makes awfully clear the ways women bear the most unforgiving burdens of exploitation. Yet Hurricane Season weathers it all into an exquisite work of art.' * Shelf Awareness *
'It does drag you towards it because it's like the words are flooding and, in this sense, it's like a hurricane has just come through you and you have to keep going and you're just taken with it.' * Radio National: Bookshelf *
'Melchor plays with language deftly; she's salty and funny and depraved. Her words brim and tremble with hate, and yet it will turn into something comical a line later. Her genius (and that of the translator, Sophie Hughes) lies in the minute, blink-and-you-miss-them details.' * The Book Slut *

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