Nancy

Bruno Lloret, trans. from the Spanish by Ellen Jones. Two Lines, $19.95 (156p) ISBN 978-1-949641-12-7
Lloret’s crushingly dark English-language debut follows a lonely, recent widow who’s dying from cancer as she reflects on her life in Chile. After her diagnosis, Nancy lost her husband when he was sucked into a tuna processor at work. He was drunk at the time, so she didn’t receive any insurance money. With nothing left, Nancy reminisces about her childhood with a brother who vanished one day, a sad father who turned to Mormonism late in life, and an emotionally and psychologically abusive mother who abandoned them. There is no joy or humor here, but the writing shines with piercing descriptions of pain, drawn up in increasingly fractured minimalist prose. Blocks of heavy Xs appear as forced pauses that dictate the rhythm of Nancy’s consciousness and forge black, angular reminders of death: “I slept in snatches full of sad dreams XXXX the kind you never remember after you wake up, but still, when you open your eyes there’s a real ache in your chest.” Old Testament passages open each chapter (“Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee”) and often trigger memories with stark brutality, such as Nancy’s mother’s threats to sell her to the Romany as a child. This visually striking fever dream is one worth braving. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/02/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-949641-13-4
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