The Houseguest and Other Stories (New Directions Publishing Corporation)
Like those of Kafka, Poe, Leonora Carrington, or Shirley Jackson, Amparo Dávila’s stories are terrifying, mesmerizing, and expertly crafted—you’ll finish reading each one gasping for air. With acute psychological insight, Dávila follows her characters to the limits of desire, paranoia, insomnia, loneliness, and fear. She is a writer obsessed with obsession who makes nightmares come to life through the everyday: loneliness sinks in easily like a razor-sharp knife, some sort of evil lurks in every shadow, delusion takes the form of strange and very real creatures. After reading The Houseguest—her debut collection in English—you’ll wonder how this secret was kept for so long.
Praise for The Houseguest and Other stories
"Each of these stories is equal parts Hitchcock film and razor blade: austere, immaculately crafted, profoundly unsettling, and capable of cutting you. Amparo Dávila is Kafka by way of Ogawa, Aira by way of Carrington, Cortazár by way of Somers, and I'm so grateful she's in translation."
"Like Poe from the new millennium."—Kirkus
"Terrifying: Dávila's stories plunge into the nature of fear, proving its force no matter if its origin is physical or psychological, real or imagined."—Publishers Weekly
A former Mellon Public Scholar, Audrey Harris holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic languages and literatures from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Photo by Luis Pérez Guarneros
Matthew Gleeson is a writer, translator, and co-editor of Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1960-2010 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.