by Clyo Mendoza
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Pub Date 12 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 15 Feb 2024
Claire Kelley, Seven Stories Press
“Fury has the poetic and wild force of the desert. In its pages there is tenderness, fear and forceful, rhythmic writing with images that are difficult to forget. It is about the violence of desire that turns us into dogs that drool, howl and bite, but also about love in the midst of hostility and helplessness. This is why it is a disturbing and, at the same time, deeply moving novel.” —Mónica Ojeda
In a desert dotted with war-torn towns, Lázaro and Juan are two soldiers from opposing camps who abandon the war and, while fleeing, become lovers and discover a dark truth. Vicente Barrera, a salesman who swept into the lives of women who both hated and revered him, spends his last days tied up like a mad dog. A morgue worker, Salvador, gets lost in the desert and mistakes the cactus for the person he loves. Over the echoes of the stories of these broken men—and of their mothers, lovers and companions—Mendoza explores her characters’ passions in a way that simmers on the page, and then explodes with pain, fear and desire in a landscape that imprisons them.
After winning the International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Poetry Prize, Clyo Mendoza has written a novel of extraordinary beauty where language embarks on a hallucinatory trip through eroticism, the transitions of conscience, and the possibility of multiple beings inhabiting a single body. In this journey through madness, incest, sexual abuse, infidelity, and silence, Fury offers a moving questioning of the complexity of love and suffering. The desert is where these characters' destinies become intertwined, where their wounds are inherited and bled dry. Readers will be blown away by the sensitivity of the writing, and will shudder at the way violence conveyed with a poetic forcefulness and a fierce mastery of the Mexican oral tradition.
"An amazing, hypnotic and beautiful novel, like contemplating the desert." —Juan Pablo Villalobos
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 10 members
The most hallucinating, mind-bending, spectral Mexican novel since "Pedro Páramo." People should read every book Seven Stories publishes, and/or every book translated by Christina Macsweeney. A real gem.
Clyo Mendoza's mastery of language, mood, and story are on full display in her debut novel, “Fury”. Christina MacSweeney’s sharp translation is the perfect compliment.
“Fury” consists of a series of poetic snippets of varying length that meander in and out, building upon themselves, creating a tapestry. Characters appear and disappear only to reappear, sometimes alive, often not, occasionally in dreams, that are most often nightmares.
There are few smooth surfaces in Mendoza’s narrative. Life is harsh in Mendoza’s desert. Procreation is raw. Death is never far away. Magic and sorcery abound. Love is fleeting where it exists at all. War and conflict are constant, with combatants not always clear for whom and what they are fighting. Women are mistreated at every turn, with the men eventually paying a retributive price. Sexuality and gender can change in a moment of passion or hate.
To be clear - “Fury” is a composite of horror stories, not for the faint of heart. But it is written in such a remarkable way- haunting, visceral, hallucinatory, phantasmagorical. “Fury” is a profound statement on humanity that makes the reading highly compelling and truly thought provoking.
Thanks to the wonderful Seven Stories Press and NetGalley for the eARC.