On Our Shelves Recently
A story collection drawn from across her career brings into English for the first time the extraordinary stylistic and thematic range of the Mexican writer and MacArthur “genius” Cristina Rivera Garza.
“One of Mexico’s greatest living writers,” wrote Jonathan Lethem in 2018 about Cristina Rivera Garza, “we are just barely beginning to catch up to what she has to offer.” In the years since, Rivera Garza’s work has received widespread recognition: She was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant for fiction that “interrogates culturally constructed notions of language, memory, and gender from a transnational perspective,” and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Yet we have still only started to discover the full range of a writer who is at once an incisive voice on migration, borders, and violence against women, as well as a high stylist in the manner of Lispector or Duras.
New and Selected Stories now brings together in English translation stories from across Rivera Garza’s career, drawing from three collections spanning over 30 years and including new writing not yet published in Spanish. It is a unique and remarkable body of work, and a window into the ever-evolving stylistic and thematic development of one of the boldest, most original and affecting writers in the world today.
About the Author
Cristina Rivera Garza is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Taiga Syndrome, available from Dorothy, a publishing project. Originally written in Spanish, her books have been translated into English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, and more. Born in Mexico in 1964, she has lived in the United States since 1989, and is currently a distinguished professor in Hispanic studies and the director of creative writing at the University of Houston.
Sarah Booker is a literary translator and doctoral candidate in Hispanic Literature at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she studies contemporary Latin American narrative and translation studies. Her translations include Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Iliac Crest and Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country and Mónica Ojeda’s Jawbone.
"The primary tension in Rivera Garza’s fiction—between the unruly intensities of sexual desire and the political disciplining of the body—is at its most concentrated in the latest translation of her work, New and Selected Stories (Dorothy) . . .The conceptual cunning of Rivera Garza’s stories cannot account for the passion that warms them."—Merve Emre, The New Yorker
“The stories in this collection are as varied as Rivera Garza’s remarkable career, and this book is an excellent introduction to a unique writer who deserves to be recognized not just in Mexico, but all over the world.” —Kirkus, starred review
“Once you get used to the New and Selected Stories’ eerie strangeness, it’s hard to pick a favorite, or convince yourself to set the book down.” —Lily Meyer, NPR.com
“English-language readers finally have the chance to enter into the beguiling, menacing, and strangely poignant world that one of Mexico’s best writers creates through her short stories. . . . The consistently high quality of all the translations makes apparent not only the changes in Rivera Garza’s themes and style but also the way that the stories share an urgent search for meaning and connection.” —Ryan Long, World Literature Today
“Whenever I read Joy Williams, I find myself sinking into this strange, boggy, liminal world, where everything feels sharp and barbed and just so slightly off-kilter. It’s a bit how I imagine being hypnotized would feel, and I had a similar sensation reading the new collection from Cristina Rivera Garza (put out by Dorothy Project, arguably one of the coolest publishers out there). . . If you like this collection, check out Rivera Garza’s novel, The Taiga Syndrome, also out from Dorothy. So odd; so good.” —Kelsey Ford, Powell’s.com
“This hypnotic, riveting collection of new and previously published stories from MacArthur Fellow Rivera Garza takes on love, migration, and violence. . . . These unsettling yet deeply approachable stories ought to earn Rivera Garza the wider attention she deserves.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“More writing from Cristina Rivera Garza is always a great gift. In this collection, New and Selected Stories, readers are able to track Rivera Garza’s writing over time, and realize that she has since the beginning been working in a lane entirely her own. Her concerns remain the same—she writes of gender, borders, immigration, loneliness, and identity in the most crystalline prose, translated here by the author herself, Sarah Booker, and others. It . . . will serve as the perfect introduction to her work for new readers, and an equally satisfying addition to her catalogue for existing fans. I devoured this book and can hardly wait to read more.” —Meghana Kandlur, Seminary Co-op Bookstore
“Cristina Rivera Garza’s New and Selected Stories offers English-language readers access to more than 30 years of intriguing writing by one of Mexico’s greatest contemporary authors.” —Terry Hong, Shelf Awareness