Ramifications

Daniel Saldaña París, trans. from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney. Coffee House, $16.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-56689-596-5
In Mexican writer París’s strange and elegant latest (after Among Strange Victims), the unnamed narrator toggles between past and present from the confines of his bed, contemplating his childhood, his father’s death, his relationship with his older sister, and the disappearance of their mother. The despondent narrator claims to never leave his bed and holds onto the self-absorption of his childhood, when he cultivated an “egocentric theocracy” and felt he was god’s “favorite human being.” He was 10 when his mother, Teresa, walked out on the family in 1994, and afterward the narrator grew closer to his sister, Mariana, while obsessively searching for the letter Teresa had left their father. As an adult, the narrator finally discovers the letter, along with another sent from Chiapas, each of which only brings him more angst and confusion, as he remembers the rumors about her activity that circulated when he was a child (did his mother join the Zapatistas in the jungles of Chiapas? Was she a murderer?), causing his social life to crumble as he spent hours in a closet he calls his “Zero Luminosity Capsule.” Along the way, París brilliantly explores memory, masculinity, and familial drama in equal measure. The result is an affecting account of arrested development. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/15/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X