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AT SKYLIGHT: CRISTINA RIVERA GARZA and CAREN BEILIN in conversation with AMINA CAIN

New and Selected Stories (Dorothy, a publishing project)

A story collection drawn from across her career brings into English for the first time the extraordinary stylistic and thematic range of the Mexican writer and MacArthur “genius” Cristina Rivera Garza.

“One of Mexico’s greatest living writers,” wrote Jonathan Lethem in 2018 about Cristina Rivera Garza, “we are just barely beginning to catch up to what she has to offer.” In the years since, Rivera Garza’s work has received widespread recognition: She was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant for fiction that “interrogates culturally constructed notions of language, memory, and gender from a transnational perspective,” and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Yet we have still only started to discover the full range of a writer who is at once an incisive voice on migration, borders, and violence against women, as well as a high stylist in the manner of Lispector or Duras.

New and Selected Stories now brings together in English translation stories from across Rivera Garza’s career, drawing from three collections spanning over 30 years and including new writing not yet published in Spanish. It is a unique and remarkable body of work, and a window into the ever-evolving stylistic and thematic development of one of the boldest, most original and affecting writers in the world today.

Cristina Rivera Garza is the author of numerous works of poetry, fiction, and criticism. Recent publications in English translation include Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country (translated by Sarah Booker and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and The Taiga Syndrome (translated by Aviva Kana and Suzanne Jill Levine and winner of the Shirley Jackson Award). Rivera Garza is Distinguished Professor and founder of the PhD Program in Creative Writing in Spanish at the University of Houston, Department of Hispanic Studies. In 2020, she was named a MacArthur Fellow in Fiction.

Praise for New and Selected Stories (Dorothy, a publishing project) -

“This hypnotic, riveting collection of new and previously published stories from MacArthur Fellow Rivera Garza takes on love, migration, and violence. . . . These unsettling yet deeply approachable stories ought to earn Rivera Garza the wider attention she deserves.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“More writing from Cristina Rivera Garza is always a great gift. In this collection, New and Selected Stories, readers are able to track Rivera Garza’s writing over time, and realize that she has since the beginning been working in a lane entirely her own. Her concerns remain the same—she writes of gender, borders, immigration, loneliness, and identity in the most crystalline prose, translated here by the author herself, Sarah Booker, and others. It . . . will serve as the perfect introduction to her work for new readers, and an equally satisfying addition to her catalogue for existing fans. I devoured this book and can hardly wait to read more.” —Meghana Kandlur, Seminary Co-op Bookstore

“Cristina Rivera Garza’s New and Selected Stories offers English-language readers access to more than 30 years of intriguing writing by one of Mexico’s greatest contemporary authors.” —Terry Hong, Shelf Awareness

Revenge of the Scapegoat (Dorothy, a publishing project)

From the author of Blackfishing the IUD, a darkly hilarious novel about familial trauma, chronic illness, academic labor, and contemporary art.
 
In the tradition of Rabelais, Swift, and Fran Ross—the tradition of biting satire that joyfully embraces the strange and fantastical—and drawing upon documentary strategies from Sheila Heti, Caren Beilin offers a tale of familial trauma that is also a broadly inclusive skewering of academia, the medical industry, and the contemporary art scene.

One day Iris, an adjunct at a city arts college, receives a terrible package: recently unearthed letters that her father had written to her in her teens, in which he blames her for their family’s crises. Driven by the raw fact of receiving these devastating letters not once but twice in a lifetime, and in a panic of chronic pain brought on by rheumatoid arthritis, Iris escapes to the countryside—or some absurdist version of it. Nazi cows, Picassos used as tampons, and a pair of arthritic feet that speak in the voices of Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pécuchet are standard fare in this beguiling novel of odd characters, surprising circumstances, and intuitive leaps, all brought together in profoundly serious ways.

Caren Beilin is the author most recently of a nonfiction book, Blackfishing the IUD (Wolfman Books, 2019), and a memoir, Spain (Rescue Press, 2018). She teaches at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and lives close by, in Vermont.

Praise for Revenge of the Scapegoat -

"Caren Beilin’s slim novels are marked by a distinctive dizzying logic—as if she had invented her own variation on realism—that allows the narrators’ imaginations, feelings, locations on earth, and personal symbologies to stretch and twist the plot." —Sheila Heti, Paris Review Daily

"The author lands on an infectious and perfect blend of cultural criticism, wry writing advice ('Don’t bother writing a character since people change'), and magnificently weird storytelling. Belin’s account of reemergence manages to be both hilarious and deeply moving." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[T]hough the narrative is, at times, profoundly strange, it’s never hard to follow. Most impressive, perhaps, is the darkly comic strain that persists throughout the novel; though the narrative involves childhood trauma, domestic abuse, addiction, medical exploitation, and the Holocaust, Iris’ wholly unique voice makes for a very funny work. This wide-ranging, idea-driven novel leaves the reader with much to think about, deftly provoking questions about the nature and ethics of trauma and contemporary art. A fresh, funny, and striking experimental work with surprises at every turn.” —Kirkus

Revenge of the Scapegoat made me bounce-laugh so hard my cheeks and belly kept jiggling while reading the pains. The pains that are so impossible and absurd that Caren Beilin writes them as full characters with their own interior agency. I’d never thought of our pains having their own lives, but I see it now, and hopefully I’ll be able to live with my various physical and emotional pains in a better way. Thank you, Caren.”—Steven Dunn

“Revenge of the Scapegoat flares from voided nipples and fooled feet, a blameful explosion of the novel, all those families of sentences, their normative violence and hurt metaphors, their Freud and Flaubert—gone kablooey, thank god! I have been desperate for a book so hotly pink-gold with righteous emasculation, with the comeuppance of the beat poets, a book of such loudly jointed parts. Caren Beilin has written the scapegoat’s anti-anthem. The trick is never stand for it. Lip-sync while fleeing fast. Lie flat in a field and feel your heart effulge.” —Joanna Ruocco

“Animated with the moxie and wit of Acker and Tillman, Caren Beilin is one of the most bizarre and fearless writers of her generation. Revenge of the Scapegoat is a surreal take on the tendency people have to damage those we claim to love and the way parental cruelty renders the world unrecognizable.” —Catherine Lacey

“What does it feel like to be held responsible for a world you have no power over? A wildly original, darkly funny, occasionally unsettling story of burden, patriarchy, art, escape, and cows that step on your heart if you lie down in their field. A surprise in plot, image, and phrase on every page. Revenge of the Scapegoat is unlike anything you’ve ever read.” —Josh Cook, Porter Square Books

“Loved every second of it—Beilin is one to read more of and keep an eye on.” —Meghana Kandlur, Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Amina Memory Cain is the author of the novel Indelicacy, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and finalist for the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, published in February 2020 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and two collections of short fiction, Creature and I Go To Some Hollow. Her new book, A Horse at Night: On Writing, will come out in October of 2022 with Dorothy, a publishing project in the US and Daunt Books in the UK. Her writing has appeared in GrantaThe Paris Review Dailyn+1BOMBLA TimesBeliever Logger, and other places. 

Event date: 
Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
New and Selected Stories Cover Image
By Cristina Rivera Garza, Sarah Booker (Translated by), Lisa Dillman (Translated by), Francisca González Arias (Translated by), Alex Ross (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781948980098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dorothy, a publishing project - April 12th, 2022

Revenge of the Scapegoat Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781948980074
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dorothy, a publishing project - April 12th, 2022