Fernanda Melchor author Sophie Hughes translator
Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
Published: 23rd Mar '22
Available, normally delivered within 3-6 days.
Written in a chilling torrent of prose by one of our most thrilling new writers, Paradais explores the explosive fragility of Mexican society – fractured by issues of race, class and violence – and how the myths, desires, and hardships of teenagers can tear life apart at the seams.
Inside a luxury housing complex, two misfit teenagers sneak around and get drunk. Franco Andrade, lonely, overweight, and addicted to porn, obsessively fantasizes about seducing his neighbor – an attractive married woman and mother – while Polo dreams about quitting his gruelling job as a gardener within the gated community and fleeing his overbearing mother and their narco-controlled village. Each facing the impossibility of getting what he thinks he deserves, Franco and Polo hatch a mindless and macabre scheme. Written in a chilling torrent of prose by one of our most thrilling new writers, Paradais explores the explosive fragility of Mexican society – fractured by issues of race, class and violence – and how the myths, desires, and hardships of teenagers can tear life apart at the seams.
‘Fernanda Melchor explores violence and inequity in this brutal novel. She does it with dazzling technical prowess, a perfect pitch for orality, and a neurosurgeon’s precision for cruelty. Paradais is a short inexorable descent into Hell.’
— Mariana Enríquez, author of Things We Lost in the Fire
‘Melchor evokes the stories of Flannery O’Connor, or, more recently, Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings. Impressive.’
— Julian Lucas, New York Times
‘With a nimble command of the novel’s technical resources and an uncanny grasp of the irrational forces at work in society, [Paradais and Hurricane Season] navigate a reality riven by violence, race, class, and sex. And they establish Melchor, who was born in 1982, as the latest of Faulkner’s Latin American inheritors, and among the most formidable.’
— Juan Gabriel Vásquez, New Yorker
‘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, author of Fever Dream
‘A masterpiece of concision ... Paradais is a labyrinthine monologue on the banal violence of a modern-day teenager.’
— Virginie Despentes, author of Vernon Subutex
‘Melchor uses shock to lay bare issues of classism, misogyny, and the ravages of child abuse. Her prose, ably translated by Hughes, is dizzying but effective; it’s as if she’s holding the reader’s head and daring them to look away from the social problems she brings to light. This might be a deeply disconcerting novel, but it’s also a brave one. A fever dream that's as hard to read as it is brilliant.’
- Long-listed for International Booker Prize 2022 (UK)