Things We Lost in the FireMariana Enríquez
horror, mainstream, magical realism, short stories
The original novel was published in 2016. Translated by Megan McDowell.
In these wildly imaginative, devilishly daring tales of the macabre, internationally bestselling author Mariana Enriquez brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory. In these stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortázar, three young friends distract themselves with drugs and pain in the midst a government-enforced blackout; a girl with nothing to lose steps into an abandoned house and never comes back out; to protest a viral form of domestic violence, a group of women set themselves on fire.
But alongside the black magic and disturbing disappearances, these stories are fueled by compassion for the frightened and the lost, ultimately bringing these characters — mothers and daughters, husbands and wives — into a surprisingly familiar reality. Written in hypnotic prose that gives grace to the grotesque, Things We Lost in the Fire is a powerful exploration of what happens when our darkest desires are left to roam unchecked, and signals the arrival of an astonishing and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.
Mariana Enríquez (Buenos Aires, 1973) is an Argentine journalist, novelist, and short story writer.
Mariana Enríquez holds a degree in Journalism and Social Communication from the National University of La Plata. She works as a journalist and is the deputy editor of the arts and culture section of the newspaper Página/12 an she dictates literature workshops. She has published the novels: Bajar es lo peor (Espasa Calpe, 1995), Cómo desaparecer completamente (Emecé, 2004) and Nuestra parte de noche (Anagrama, 2019). She has also written the short story books: Los peligros de fumar en la cama (Emecé, 2009), Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego (Editorial Anagrama, 2016) and the novelette Chicos que vuelven (Eduvim, 2010). Her