Details

ISBN-10: 1948830558
ISBN-13: 9781948830553
Publisher: Open Letter
Publish Date: 07/26/2022
Dimensions: 0.00" L, 0.00" W, 0.00" H

Bad Handwriting

Translator: Katie Whittemore
Translator: Frances Riddle

Paperback

Price: $15.95

Overview

From the author of the highly acclaimed Four by Four and Among the Hedges comes a collection of unsettling, captivating stories.

The eleven stories in this collection approach themes of childhood and adolescence, guilt and redemption, power and freedom. There are children who resist authority and experience the process of growing up with shock, and loneliness; alienated young girls whose rebellion lies under the surface–subterranean, furious and impotent; people who are tormented–or not–by regret and doubt, addicted to feelings of culpability; men who take advantage of women and adults who exercise power over children with a disturbing degree of control; kids abandoned by their parents; the suicide of the elderly and the young; lives that hide crimes–both real and imagined. Eschewing cosmopolitanism in favor of the micro-world of her characters, Mesa depicts a reality that is messy and disturbing, on even the smallest scale of an individual life, a single family.

Author

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Reviews
Praise for Four by Four:

With short, propulsive chapters, Sara Mesa creates an unforgettable gothic landscape, centered on the mysterious and menacing Wybrany College, that twists in ways that unsettle and thrill. In Four by Four, Mesa's sentences are clear as glass, but when you look through you will be terrified by what you see."–Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

"The atmospheric unraveling of the mystery will keep you turning the page; the ending will leave you stunned–Mesa's Four by Four is a tautly written literary thriller that juxtaposes the innocence of children with the fetish of control; a social parable that warns against the silence of oppression and isolation through its disquieting, sparse prose."–Kelsey Westenberg, Seminary Co-op

"Stylistically, Four by Four's narrative structure is both dazzling and dizzying, as its perfect pacing only enhances the metastasizing dread and dis-ease. . . . Mesa exposes the thin veneer of venerability to be hiding something menacing and unforgivable–and Four by Four lays it bare for all the world to see."–Jeremy Garber, Powell's Books

"Very few authors evoke a visceral reaction with prose in the way that Sara Mesa does. . . . Four by Four sounds an alarm on the dangers of power, privilege, and the self-delusions told in order to hide complicity. A work of high gothic art, Four by Four solidifies Mesa as one of the strongest female voices in contemporary Spanish literature."–Cristina Rodriguez, Deep Vellum Books

"This is a linguistically precise, stylistically spare and emotionally devastating look at the corrosive effect of abuse and power imbalance, perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson and Samanta Schweblin."–Cindy Pauldine, Shelf Awareness, starred review

"Like Buñuel's Exterminating Angel, or even Bong Joon-ho's Parasite, the rich are left rotting in a swamp of their own design. . . . Four by Four is an uncomfortably real look into the absurd world of the bourgeoisie. It is so complex and layered that, to reach a full understanding, one may have to read it two or even three times. Not a single character, after all, is what they seem."–Noelle Mcmanus, The Women's Review of Books

Praise for Among the Hedges:

When you find yourself caught in the spiderweb of Sara Mesa's fiction, you wonder how she does it, what the substance is that glues you to her books–that asphalt that impregnates you while you're reading as well as hours and days after you have closed the book. With Among the Hedges it happens again.–Carlos Zanón, Babelia, El País (Book of the Week)

What is fascinating about Sara Mesa is her ability to map the human condition through losers, the abuse of power, oppressive and isolated places, the slow and continuous degradation. That's why her novels are so interesting: because they are always rough, bitter, sincere, dark, unpleasant and slow.–Ángeles López, La Razón

Among the Hedges is pure Sara Mesa, though with a new touch of melancholy. A disturbing and provocative novel.–Luisgé Martín

A very literary novel due to the wise use of narrative times. The chiaroscuros are better at explaining the human being and literature was born to remind us of this. A much-needed novel for our times.–José María Pozuelo Yvancos, Abc Cultural

A couple of characters who meet when perhaps they shouldn't have, and that make us question our own prejudices, the labels we put on others and our own notions of normality.–Eva Piquer, Ara

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Details

ISBN-10: 1948830558
ISBN-13: 9781948830553
Publisher: Open Letter
Publish Date: 07/26/2022
Dimensions: 0.00" L, 0.00" W, 0.00" H
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