Fish Soup

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UPC: 9781999859305
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Authors: Margarita García Robayo (Author), Charlotte Coombe (Translator)
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charco Press (December 3, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 212 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1999859308
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1999859305

In two novellas and seven short stories, Fish Soup blends cynicism and beauty with a rich vein of dark humour.

"Waiting for a Hurricane" follows a girl obsessed with escaping both her life and her country. Emotionally detached from her family, and disillusioned with what the future holds if she remains, she takes ever more drastic steps to achieve her goal, seemingly oblivious to the damage she is causing both herself and those around her. "Worse Things" offers snapshots of lives in turmoil, frayed relationships, family taboos, and rejection of and by society. And "Sexual Education" examines the attempts of a student to tally the strict doctrine of abstinence taught at her school with the very different moral norms that prevail in her social circles.At once blunt and poetic, Garcia Robayo delves into the lives of her characters, simultaneously evoking sympathy and revulsion, challenging the reader’s loyalties throughout the remarkable universe that is Fish Soup.


Casa de las Américas Prize (Winner)
Society of Authors Valle-Inclán Prize (Shortlist)

"García Robayo’s prose bristles with restrained energy and a wry humour which captures the disaffection of her characters." ―The Times Literary Supplement

"[Fish Soup] is a gorgeous, blackly humorous look into the lives of Colombians struggling to find their place in society, both at home and abroad." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A remarkable genre-bending effort." ―The Guardian

"The tackiness of the Caribbean coast and its discontents are marvellously rendered." ―The Times Literary Supplement

"If you’re a fan of Ottessa Moshfegh or Melissa Broder, then this is for you." ―The Guardian

"An evocative collection that conveys the potency of desire in even the most ordinary lives." ―Kirkus

"García Robayo is building one of the most solid and interesting oeuvres in Latin American literature."" ―Juan Cárdenas, author of ORNAMENTAL

"Her stories combine the atmosphere of Desperate Housewives, Hemingway’s iceberg theory and a memorable, bittersweet ending."" ―Jorge Carrión, author of BOOKSHOPS

"Margarita shows sharp insight into contemporary life. Her voice speaks with surreptitious irony and sophisticated psychological perception. She is the creator of an exceptional poetics of displacement."" ―Juan Villoro, author of THE WITNESS

"There are very few writers who can challenge expectations the way Margarita García Robayo does. Margarita is simply one of the best of the new generation that respects, yet no longer identifies with, the Latin American Boom."" ―Mariana Enríquez, author of THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE

"This is a text written from within the belly of the beast. (…) One of the most essential books of the year." ―Asymptote

"García Robayo’s prose is concise and startling, her voice versatile and capable of packing a serious punch." ―LA Review of Books

"One of the most potent figures of contemporary Latin American literature." ―ABC Cultural

"Full of everyday details that reveal the most vulnerable aspects of feminine subjectivity." ―La Nación

Praise for Margarita García Robayo

Biblioteca de Narrativa Colombiana Prize (Finalist)

"García Robayo writes with caustic insight, brittle humour and a fair whack of cynicism (...) Holiday Heart is brilliant." ―The Guardian

"Understated, lyrical, and delivers its insights by means of acute observation. (5 stars)" ―The Arts Desk

"Cunningly well achieved." ―Irish Times

"Holiday Heart is a poignant and searing story of love ending." ―Gutter Magazine

"Coombe’s translation brilliantly captures the bite in García Robayo’s humour." ―iNews

"One of Colombia’s greatest living writers." ―The Monthly Booking

"Brilliantly dramatises the disjunction between an idealized picture of life like sitting on a sunny beach and the reality of that life like getting sand caught in your teeth." ―Lonesome Reader

Best Fiction Books of 2017 ―New York Times (Español)

"Darkly funny throughout, this examination of two lives will stay with you long after you read the final words and lay the book down." ―Lunate

"Every sentence in the book seems to be written with a scalpel infused with acid. " ―Morning Star

"Acute, provocative, concise and raw." ―Translating Women

"An incredibly insightful portrayal of a disintegrating marriage...provides a sharp-eyed view of estrangement and personal identity." ―Book Riot

"Frightening, alluring, and inescapable." ―Books and Bao

About the Author

Margarita García Robayo (Cartagena, Colombia, 1980) is the author of three novels, a book of autobiographical essays and several collections of short stories, including Worse Things, which obtained the prestigious Casa de las Américas Prize in 2014. Her work has appeared in several anthologies such as _Región: cuento político latinoamericano _(Political Latin American Short Stories, 2011) and _Childless Parents _(2014). In 2013, she was awarded a Literary Creation Grant from the Han Nefkens Foundation and the Pompeu Fabra University. Her books have been praised in Latin America as well as in Spain, and have been translated into French, Portuguese, Italian, Hebrew and Chinese. _Holiday Heart _will be her second book to appear in English after the very successful Fish Soup.

Charlotte Coombe is a British literary translator, working from French and Spanish. Her translation of Abousse Shalmani’s _Khomeini, Sade and Me _(2016) won a PEN Translates award. She has translated novels by Anna Soler-Pont and Asha Miró, Marc de Gouvenain, as well as some non-fiction, short stories and poetry by Edgardo Nuñez Caballero, Rosa María Roffiel and Santiago Roncagliolo for Palabras Errantes. She is also the translator of Eduardo Berti’s novel _The Imagined Land _(2018). This is her third title for Charco Press, after Ricardo Romero’s _The President’s Room _(2017) and Margarita García Robayo’s Fish Soup (2018).