Renowned Mexican author Cristina Rivera Garza reads from the new English translation of her novel The Iliac Crest, a gothic story of disappearance, conspiracy, and memory, and appears in conversation with Mauro Javier Cardenas.
Cristina Rivera Garza is an award-winning author, translator, and critic. Her books, originally written in Spanish, have been translated into multiple languages. She is the recipient of the Roger Caillois Award for Latin American Literature (2013), the Anna Seghers-Preis (2005), and the only two-time winner of the International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize (2001; 2009). She received her PhD in 2012 in Latin American history from the University of Houston, where she is currently Distinguished Professor in Hispanic Studies.
Mauro Javier Cardenas grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and graduated with a degree in Economics from Stanford University. He’s the author of The Revolutionaries Try Again (Coffee House Press, 2016) and Avoidance (FSG, 2019). He’s the recipient of a Joseph Henry Jackson Award, and in 2017 the Hay Festival included him in Bogota 39, a selection of the best young Latin American novelists.
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.