Villaurrutia Prize for Best Mexican Novel
Set in an imaginary walled city off the coast of Morocco, Mogador traces the days and nights of Fatma, a young woman who finds herself suddenly seized by desire. As she wanders the city’s maze of erotic pleasures, she encounters other desiring bodies and the desperate worlds those desires create. Here is a vital fusion of Latin America magical realism with Arabic geometric and mystical imagery, written in a style the author calls a prose of intensities.
This extremely talented Mexican writer . . . assumes is own Islamic roots in one of the best-written novels of recent years. He is truly a painter of dreams, who manages to fuse the most unblemished sensuality with the most transparent spirituality.–Luce Lopez Baralt
Memorable novella about being both untouched and seized–all described in prose that mixes dreamy arabesque with crystalline precision.–Kirkus Review
Ruy Sanchez balances a double paradox: his novella about female desire, written by a man, criticizes Islamic and Latin-American concepts of male dominance. It’s a dazzling philosophical conundrum–a Sphinx-like riddle that only a king or a poet could solve. In any event, the pervasive desire in Mogador is particularized: it’s the calling out of one body to another, one spirit to another, one soul to another. . . . This infatuating novella is not about eroticism; it’s about love.–William Hollinger, Boston Review
Alberto Ruy Sanchez has written many works of fiction as well as literary and art criticism. He was an editor of Octavo Paz’s Vuelta and is now editor and chief of Artes de México.
Mark Schafer has translated works by Virgilio Piniera and, with Cedric Belfrage, The Book of Embraces by Eduardo Galeano.