Brutal, relentless, beautiful, fugal, Hurricane Season explores the violent mythologies of one Mexican village and reveals how they touch the global circuitry of capitalist greed. This is an inquiry into the sexual terrorism and terror of broken men. This is a work of both mystery and critique. Most recent fiction seems anaemic by comparison. Ben Lerner, author of The Topeka School Fernanda Melchor has a powerful voice, and by powerful I mean unsparing, devastating, the voice of someone who writes with rage, and has the skill to pull it off. Samanta Schweblin, author of Fever Dream This is the Mexico of Cormac McCarthys Blood Meridian or Roberto Bolaos 2666, where the extremes of evil create a pummeling, hyper-realistic effect. But the elemental cry of Ms. Melchors writing voice, a composite of anger and anguish, is entirely her own. Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal A brutal portrait of small-town claustrophobia, in which machismo is a prison and corruption isnt just institutional but domestic, with families broken by incest and violence. Melchors long, snaking sentences make the book almost literally unputdownable, shifting our grasp of key events by continually creeping up on them from new angles. A formidable debut. Anthony Cummins, Observer Hurricane Season is a Gulf Coast noir from four characters perspectives, each circling a murder more closely than the last. Melchor has an exceptional gift for ventriloquism, as does her translator, Sophie Hughes, who skillfully meets the challenge posed by a novel so rich in idiosyncratic voices. Melchor evokes the stories of Flannery OConnor, or, more recently, Marlon Jamess A Brief History of Seven Killings. Impressive. Julian Lucas, The New York Times Stomach-churning, molar-grinding, nightmare-inducing, and extraordinarily clear-eyed account of the ordinary horrors men inflict upon women. Melchor refuses to look away, refuses to indulge in fantasy or levityeven in the moments when the novel is laugh-out-loud funny. And lest the far-off reader think the horror is contained to the lives of others, Melchor repeatedly threads the reminders of the long reach of these crimesand their causesthroughout the narrative. Lucas Iberico Lozada, The Nation I found it impossible to look away. Hurricane Season unfurls with the pressure and propulsion of an unforeseen natural disaster, the full force of Melchors arresting voice captured in Sophie Hughes masterful translation. Lucy Scholes, Financial Times A sprawling, heaving thing, and I loved it because I have no idea how Fernanda Melchor was able to write it. The prose has the quality of a storm. Avni Doshi, Guardian Best Books of 2020 Hurricane Season is, first and foremost, a horror storyits horror coming from rather than contrasting with the lyricism of Melchors prose [...] Melchors kaleidoscope keeps circling around the untold source of the horrors, and we are increasingly keen to unveil it. This is an effect of the structure of the novel as much as of its writing. Sophie Hughess translation renders the expansive, punishing spirit of Mexican slang so impressively that one wonders whether the harsher sounds of English in fact suit the novel better. Emmanuel Ordez Angulo, New York Review of Books
Born in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1982, Fernanda Melchor is widely recognized as one of the most exciting new voices of Mexican literature. Hurricane Season was shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award. Paradais, her second novel to appear in English, was longlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize.