magical realism, mystery
The original novel was published in 2019. Translated by Julia Sanches.
Electrifying and provocative, visceral and profound, a powerful literary debut novel about a young woman whose compulsion to eat earth gives her visions of murdered and missing people — an imaginative synthesis of mystery and magical realism that explores the dark tragedies of ordinary lives.
Set in an unnamed slum in contemporary Argentina, Earth-eater is the story of a young woman who finds herself drawn to eating the earth — a compulsion that gives her visions of broken and lost lives. With her first taste of dirt, she learns the horrifying truth of her mother’s death. Disturbed by what she witnesses, the woman keeps her visions to herself. But when Earth-eater begins an unlikely relationship with a withdrawn police officer, word of her ability begins to spread, and soon desperate members of her community beg for her help, anxious to uncover the truth about their own loved ones.
Surreal and haunting, spare yet complex, Earth-eater is a dark, emotionally resonant tale told from a feminist perspective that brilliantly explores the stories of those left behind — the women enduring the pain of uncertainty, whose lives have been shaped by violence and loss.
Dolores Reyes was born in Buenos Aires in 1978. She is a teacher, feminist, activist, and the mother of seven children. She studied classical literature at the University of Buenos Aires. Eartheater is her first novel.