A Working Woman

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UPC: 9781931883658
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Author: Elvira Navarro
Translator: Christina MacSweeney
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lines Press; Translation edition (October 10, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931883653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931883658
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches

Globally acclaimed as a relentless innovator and a meticulous explorer of the psyche’s most obscure alleyways, Elvira Navarro here delivers an ambitious tale of feminine friendship, madness, a radically changing city, and the vulnerability that makes us divulge our most shameful secrets. It begins as Elisa transcribes the chaotic testimony of her roommate Susana, acting as part-therapist, part-confessor as Susana reveals the gripping account of her strange sexual urges and the one man who can satisfy them. But is Susana telling the truth? And what to make of the story that follows, where Elisa considers her own life failures, blending her literary ambitions with her deep need for catharsis? And then, one last surprise makes us question everything we have just read. Masterfully uncovering the insecurity that lurks just beneath the surface of every stable life, A Working Woman shows Elvira Navarro’s strength for mordant storytelling and breathtaking insight into alienation, confirming her status as one of the leading voices of her generation.



A provocative new novel from the author ranked among Granta’s “Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists”

"Written in a unique voice that evokes the alienation Elena feels so deeply, Navarro’s novel is a complex yet not overwhelming work that deals as adeptly with relationships between people as it does with the relationship people feel to their cities and their work. . . . The novel is thoroughly gripping." ― World Literature Today

"A novel of economic and psychological precarity and an exploration of the tension between the boundedness of art and the formlessness of life, A Working Woman is as charming as a fable and as frenzied as a fever dream." ― Literary Hub

“Elvira Navarro is an enormously gifted and disturbing young writer with an unusual eye for the bizarre; she captures personal fragility with deceptively detached prose that stays with us like a scarring incision.” ― Lina Meruane, author of Seeing Red

A Working Woman invents a language and a structure to portray the outskirts of the city and job insecurity like no novel has done before. Elvira Navarro is one of the most intelligent and daring writers in the Spanish-speaking world.” ― Daniel Saldaña París, author of Among Strange Victims

A Working Woman . . . interrogates the psyche of characters mired by the Spanish economic crisis and the realities and lies they build around themselves in search of catharsis.” ― Daniel Peña, Ploughshares

"The book surprises the reader with an explosive opening that combines cunnilingus, the full moon, and menstruation. . . . Disconcerting in the best possible sense." ― El Cultural

"The singular thing about this novel is . . . the narrative voice." ― El País

"Navarro is one of Spanish literature's most interesting contemporary writers. . . . A Working Woman represents a major leap forward in her work." ― Perfil

About the Author

Elvira Navarra was named by Granta magazine one of the “Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists” in 2010, and she was declared one of the major Spanish voices of the future by the magazine El Cultural in 2013. The author of five novels and short story collections, she has received numerous awards and honors for her work. Translated into French, Swiss, Italian, Turkish, and Arabic, Navarro lives in Barcelona.

Christina MacSweeney was awarded the 2016 Valle Inclán Translation Prize for her translation of Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth, and her work has been shortlisted for a number of other prizes. Her translations of Daniel Saldaña París’s novel Among Strange Victims (finalist in the 2017 Best Translated Book Award), and Eduardo Rabasa’s A Zero Sum Game both appeared in 2016. She has also published translations, articles and interviews on wide a variety of platforms, plus in three anthologies: México20LunaticsLovers & Poets: Twelve stories after Cervantes and Shakespeare, and Crude Words: Contemporary Writing from Venezuela. She is now working on texts by Julián Herbert and Verónica Gerber Bicecci.