The Iliac Crest
The Iliac Crest
Cristina Rivera Garza
This excavation of forgotten Mexican women writers illustrates how gendered language wields destructive power.
Publication Date: 10-10-17
Translated by Sarah Booker
Afterword by Elena Poniatowska
On a dark and stormy night, two mysterious women invade an unnamed narrator’s house, where they proceed to ruthlessly question their host’s identity. While the two women are strangely intimate, even inventing a secret language, they harass the narrator by claiming repeatedly that they know his greatest secret: that he is, in fact, a woman. As the increasingly frantic protagonist fails to defend his supposed masculinity, he eventually finds himself in a sanatorium.
Published for the first time in English, this Gothic tale destabilizes male-female binaries and subverts literary tropes.
"Rivera Garza’s taut language drives the mystery forward, and she plays cleverly with the literary and political histories of Mexico, the importance of queer visibility, and the silencing of female authorship. An existential gothic tale about the high stakes of understanding—and accepting—the self." —Kirkus Reviews
“An intelligent, beautiful story about bodies disguised as a story about language disguised as a story about night terrors. Cristina Rivera Garza does not respect what is expected of a writer, of a novel, of language. She is an agitator.” —Yuri Herrera, author of Kingdom Cons
“Like the ocean itself, Cristina Rivera Garza writes a world where borders shift and dissolve. In the curves of the fantastic, the highest realism is born. This world is weird. This world is so deeply true. Reader, I love this wholly perfect book."—Samantha Hunt, author of Mr. Splitfoot
“Warning: Cristina Rivera Garza is an explosive writer yet to be fully accounted for in English. She is an insubordinate stylist, a skilled creator of atmospheric and haunting language, and The Iliac Crest is a willfully queer piece where the workings of her wild imagination destabilize everything.” —Lina Meruane, author of Seeing Red
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