The volume of stories The dangers of smoking in bed, from the writer Mariana Enriquez, which was nominated this year for the prestigious International Booker Prize, was praised as one of the best books of 2021 by the Nobel Prize for Literature Kazuo ishiguro, who called it “the most exciting discovery” of works of fiction in some time.
“The beautiful and horrible world of Mariana Enriquez, as glimpsed in The dangers of smoking in bed (Granta), with its disturbed adolescents, ghosts, decaying demons, the sad and angry homeless of modern Argentina, is the most exciting discovery I have made in fiction for some time, “Ishiguro said in a text published in the british newspaper The Guardian in which the Japanese writer reviews the outstanding works of this year.
The work, edited by Anagrama in 2016, is the second collection of stories – made up of a dozen stories framed in the horror and Gothic genres – in which Enriquez explores social issues such as depression, poverty, eating disorders, gender inequality and violence.
Translated into more than fifteen languages, the book was a critical and best-seller success and established the author as an Argentine writer of horror literature, while also leading her to join the short list for the Booker Prize and the list of works nominated for the Prize. Kirkus, for its “insidiously absorbent, quicksand” climate.
The last story of the volume, which gives its name to the work, where the author constructs a painful plot about the history of a group of women who decide to burn themselves before the virulence and the wave of sexist violence, is being taken to the cinema by the director Prano Bailey-Bond in association with the producer Rodrigo Teixeira.
“It took many burned women to start the bonfires,” says the narrator of this story, after stating violence against the wives of men who spray alcohol, set fire, hurt and murder. In this story, one of the characters in the story tells another: “The burns are done by men, little girl. They always burned us. Now we burn ourselves. But we are not going to die: we are going to show our scars ”.
Like Ishiguro, the American driver Oprah Winfrey some time ago highlighted Enriquez’s work by pointing out that “an emerging Argentine star bets on gothic gold and marks with joy the scars of friendships and attraction in this luminous and chilling collection whose fascinating characters dance through the spectral line between our world and the hereafter ”.
Historically cultivated by British female writers Ann radcliffe (1764-1823) and Mary shelley (1797-1851), in Argentina, since the writer won the Herralde Novel Prize for Our part of the night In 2019, local horror shifted from a niche taste to mass interest and bestseller.
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The Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro selected a book by Mariana Enriquez as one of the best of the year