cover image Almost Never

Almost Never

Daniel Sada, trans. from the Spanish by Katherine Silver. Graywolf, $16 trade paper (344p) ISBN 978-1-55597-609-5

A man is torn between lovers in the full-length English-language debut from the late Mexican novelist Sada (1953–2011). In 1945, agronomist Demetrio lives a simple, dull life in Oaxaca, renting a room from Doña Rolanda and supervising peasants in the orchards. In an attempt to spice things up, Demetrio goes to a bordello where he meets Mireya, a gorgeous prostitute with whom he’s soon spending every spare moment, and Sada holds nothing back in describing their raucous couplings. The lovers are forced apart when Demetrio accompanies his infirm mother to a wedding in Sacramento, Calif., where he meets the equally beautiful Renata, Mireya’s virginal inverse. Demetrio begins a chaste, long-distance courtship with Renata, but Mireya, sensing something amiss, begins urging Demetrio to rescue her from the bordello. When events come to a head, Demetrio must choose between love and lust, though neither object of his affection is exactly who she seems. Sada creates a fascinatingly eccentric cast of characters and manipulates them with skill. (Apr. 10)