by Roque Larraquy
translated by Heather Cleary
APR 2018

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Pub Date: 25 April, 2019
Extent: 160pp
Format: B+ paperback
ISBN: 9781911231288
Rights: UK & Comm. (excl. Canada): Text Publishing

‘Shuttling between B-movie horror and exceedingly dark comedy, the novel is somehow both genuinely scary and genuinely funny, sometimes on the same page—a wickedly entertaining ride.’ Publishers Weekly (starred review)

On the outskirts of Buenos Aires in 1907, Doctor Quintana pines for head nurse Menéndez while he and his colleagues embark on a grisly series of experiments to investigate the line 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 in pursuit of transcendence? The world of Comemadre is full of vulgarity, excess and farce: strange ants that form almost perfect circles, missing body parts, obsessive love affairs and flesh-eating plants. Here the monstrous is not alien, but the consequence of our relentless drive for collective and personal progress.


‘Heartrending…A sharply drawn account of people in "newly free societies" who long for life to be the same as it was in the unfree past…Connected by the allegory of performing bears, Szabłowski’s melancholy personality studies underscore freedom’s challenges and the seductions of authoritarian rule.’ —Publishers Weekly

‘[Comemadre] arrives like a shockwave.’ —Los Angeles Review of Books

‘Larraquy has written a perfect novel: spare, urgent, funny, original and infused with wonderfully subtle grace.’ —Elisa Albert, author of After Birth