Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes
Categories: Literary Fiction, Translated
First Publication Date: 6th October 2020 (translation)
Synopsis: The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse has the whole village investigating the murder. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering on new details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters—inners whom most people would write off as irredeemable—forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.
Hurricane Season is a powerful novel brimming with superstition, violence and humanity. It tells the story of the death of the Witch in a small Mexican village from the point of view of several characters adjacent or directly related to the murder, and it’s a brutal account of violence, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, drug abuse and poverty. The author does something incredible with the way you read these difficult themes, reading about people who horrible things, and simply can’t stop reading – each character is deeply human, flawed and suffers their own traumas, become violent and abusive themselves, and I just wanted to know more about them and their lives. Even thought this book is in no way an easy read, it’s compulsive, intoxicating, rather short, and I devoured it. The writing (and translation) are beautifully done, rendering this book a gorgeous and bleak portrait of life in La Matosa and the darkness in the hearts of its people, told through torrential and intense narrations. I highly recommend this if you enjoyed books like Milkman and The Mercies – they’re not exactly the same kind of book but they gave me similar feelings and I think readers who enjoyed those will enjoy this, too.