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Date(s) - 04/27/2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Center for Fiction

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Few writers can upend readers’ expectations quite like Cristina Rivera Garza. Born in Mexico and now Distinguished Professor in Hispanic Studies and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Houston, she is a prolific author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry – the only writer to be twice awarded the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize for women writing in Spanish. Her latest novel recounts a female ex-detective’s search for a couple who has fled to the ends of the earth. Hired by the former husband of one of the missing pair who received a cryptic message from his ex-wife, the investigator, accompanied by a translator, embarks on a snow-bound journey that recalls the enchanted landscapes of fairy tales and delivers something infinitely strange and rich.

A fairytale run amok, The Taiga Syndrome follows an unnamed Ex-Detective as she searches for a couple who has fled to the far reaches of the earth. A betrayed husband is convinced by a brief telegram that his second ex-wife wants him to track her down—that she wants to be found. He hires the Ex-Detective, who sets out with a translator into a snowy, hostile forest where strange things happen and translation betrays both sense and one’s senses. Tales of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood haunt the Ex-Detective’s quest into a territory overrun with the primitive excesses of Capitalism—accumulation, and expulsion, corruption and cruelty—though the lessons of her journey are more experiential than moral: that just as love can fly away, sometimes unloving flies away as well.

Rivera Garza will do a short reading and then discuss the process of writing her novel with Jonathan Lethem. A Q&A and signing to follow.