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Additional Information
ISBN: 9781949641127
Pages: 156
Size: 5"x8"
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Distributed By: Publishers Group West

Nancy

by Bruno Lloret
Translated from Spanish by
Ellen Jones
$19.95

“This is a gorgeous novel from a writer unafraid to consider the darkness…beyond rewarding. Bleak, beautiful, and incredibly powerful.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“An inventory of abandonment and abuse, inevitable diary of death and of growing up, a diatribe against routine religious fervor, and a bitter collection of involuntary poetry, this extraordinary novel far transcends denunciation and the exercise in style, reaching a new, unexpected, dissident realism.” —Alejandro Zambra, author of My Documents and Multiple Choice

Alone again in a Chile punctuated by graves, footsteps, x-rays, and crosses, Nancy looks back on her life. Before her cancer, before her husband’s ridiculous death, before she fled home hidden in the back of a truck, she spent her youth at Playa Roja, hearing the rumors of disappeared girls and dead boys while swimming along­side her friends and the creepy old gringos. Her family lost to religion, alcohol, and violence, Nancy has been forced to fend for herself in a world designed to crush her. She keeps going despite it all.

And now, recounting her story from her deathbed, Nancy takes this life in her hands, shapes it anew, and turns it into something else: not a mere calendar of crossed-out days but a wholly original testament to the quiet dignity of a difficult journey.

Praise

“Lloret employs unusual typography, punctuating the book with a series of bold X’s; the effect is jarring but powerful, reminding the reader of Nancy’s impending fate. This is a gorgeous novel from a writer unafraid to consider the darkness; it’s hard to read but beyond rewarding. Bleak, beautiful, and incredibly powerful.” Kirkus (starred review)

“Nancy heralds a future-facing vanguard in Chilean letters…and, despite its deep local roots, belongs to a burgeoning international literature of shared crises.… Ellen Jones makes this difficult translation look easy…Jones’ skill extends from the language all the way down to this deliberate, fraught punctuation.” —Asymptote

“[Nancy’s] descriptions are rich, its emotions moving, and its symbolism profound.…An engaging work that will leave its readers pondering its themes long after they’ve finished the final page, powerfully drawing attention to harms done to everyday Chileans by merciless heavy industry and domineering religious groups.” The Harvard Crimson

“The writing shines with piercing descriptions of pain, drawn up in increasingly fractured minimalist prose.…This visually striking fever dream is one worth braving.” Publishers Weekly

“‘After a while, their silence is worse than being at death’s door. Maybe even worse than hope,’ says the protagonist of this beautiful, terrifying novel, which at times recalls César Vallejo’s poems, at times Robert Browning’s dramatic monologues, and at times Herta Muller’s ferocious fiction. A single, simple special effect—pages sown with ‘x’s, stained with crosses—transforms the reading into an incessant, painful blinking. Readers vacillate, shift position, try out obvious or sophisticated or whimsical interpretations, and are as mistrustful of these tricks as Nancy herself would be of strangers who suddenly seem too interested in listening to her. An inventory of abandonment and abuse, inevitable diary of death and of growing up, a diatribe against routine religious fervour (‘and so papá tonto became a Saint: papá santo’, says Nancy about her father’s conversion to Mormonism), and a bitter collection of involuntary poetry (‘why can’t cancer be like this, why can’t it disappear, like words, like cigarettes’) this extraordinary novel far transcends denunciation and the exercise in style, reaching a new, unexpected, dissident realism.” —Alejandro Zambra, author of My Documents and Multiple Choice

“A devastating, psychic exploration of our crumbling world, told in a visceral style that proves Bruno Lloret to be a force among the emerging Chilean writers of today.” —Fernando A. Flores, author of Tears of the Trufflepig 

“An alarming, beautifully compassionate novel. Original and perfect for these strange times we live in.” —Jazmina Barrera, author of On Lighthouses

“Bruno Lloret’s Nancy is a requiem, a funeral pyre, a poetic novel dedicated to the factory towns and their unremembered inhabitants. Told with breathless economy, an entire world of Romany and gringos, sinners and the devout walk across the serrated desert of this Chilean masterpiece. Part coming-of-age, part meditation on poverty, grief, and environmental collapse, I’ve never read anything quite like it.” —Mark Haber, author of Reinhardt’s Garden

“A moving, masterful debut… Death, trauma, violence, sexuality, family, religion, class, Nancy, in offering a tale of one, juxtaposes the individual’s singularity with the similarity of shared human experience. With sparse prose and uncanny realism, Lloret thrusts the reader into a staccato reminiscence of a life spent in struggle and defeat. Nancy resonates; Nancy eulogizes; Nancy dignifies—perhaps most of all, Nancy empathizes, with and for a life, however fictional, that seldom enjoyed the grace it so quietly deserved.” —Jeremy Garber, Powell’s City of Books (Portland, OR)

“A profound and disturbing meditation on the nature of belief, poverty and the human detritus of global capital.”The Saturday Paper

“Nancy is a work of great emotional and intellectual maturity. It is surprising that it is a debut novel. With it, Bruno Lloret announces himself as a writer who is unafraid to explore life at the margins of society, but who is sensitive to the complexity of his subject. The stark, brutal simplicity of the prose, rendered in translation by Ellen Jones, highlights the brutality of the world created on these pages.” —3:AM Magazine

“An atmospheric, expansive story of melancholy situated somewhere between the Pacific Ocean and the Atacama Desert.…Nancy works at the height of fiction’s power to bring us closer to others.” ArtsHub (5/5 stars)

“[Nancy] uncovers the painful wounds inflicted by belief and by poverty, when life has become a wilderness, a minefield, an act of survival, in which even love and desire are reduced to nothing, witnesses to a happiness as improbable as it is precarious.” ―Leonardo Sanhueza 

“We have here an extremely sensitive, intelligent, talented writer…A marvel.” —Rodrigo Hidalgo, El Guillatún

“One of the most original books of the year” —Natalia Berbelagua, Revista Intemperie

“A novel that flows naturally and can be read quickly, which is not to say that it’s simple – quite the opposite. It toys with existential questions about what it means to be human.” —Juvenal Romero Pérez, Revista Lecturas

Author
Bruno Lloret (Santiago de Chile, 1990) is a writer and researcher. He has published Nancy (Cuneta, Santiago de Chile, 2015; Two Lines Press, 2020), which received an honorable mention for the Roberto Bolaño Award for novella, and Leña (Overol, Santiago de Chile, 2018). He currently lives in London.
Translator
Ellen Jones is a researcher, editor, and Spanish-to-English literary translator based in Mexico City. She has a PhD from Queen Mary University of London and is Reviews Editor at Hispanic Research Journal. She writes regularly about multilingualism and contemporary Latin American literature, including for publications like the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her translation from Spanish of Rodrigo Fuentes’s short story collection Trout, Belly Up (Charco Press, 2019) was shortlisted for the Translators Association First Translation Prize. You can find her at www.ellencjones.com.