David Kurnick teaches in the English department at Rutgers University.
All essays by David Kurnick
by Fernanda Melchor, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes
Published March, 2020
Books and Abandonment
While more conventional writers advertise their moral delicacy in dealing with vastly disempowered characters, Melchor’s relentlessness makes that strategy look like condescension. Hewing close to her painful material – and refusing to let her narrator philosophize about it or apologize for it – Melchor reveals something distasteful in the common notion that the task of fiction is to ‘convey the humanity’ of people in extreme circumstances. Hurricane Season demands instead that we assume the humanity of its characters. Is there a better condition of entry for a novel to set its readers?
May. 2020 • Fiction • In translation • Latin American literatures