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Translated by Sophie Hughes
Inside a luxury housing complex, two misfit teenagers sneak around and get drunk. Franco, lonely, overweight, and addicted to porn, obsessively fantasises about seducing his neighbour—an attractive married woman and mother—while Polo dreams about quitting his gruelling job as a gardener in the gated community and fleeing his overbearing mother and their narco-controlled village. Facing the impossibility of getting what they think they deserve, Franco and Polo hatch a mindless and macabre scheme.
Melchor is a thrilling writer, her electric prose charged with the power to transform the reader. Paradais explores the explosive nature of Mexico’s brittle society, fractured by issues of race, class and violence—and confronts us with teenagers whose desires and hardships can tear life apart.
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘The ‘elemental cry’ of Ms. Melchor’s writing voice, a composite of anger and anguish, is entirely her own.’
‘Melchor evokes the stories of Flannery O’Connor, or Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings. Impressive.’