Feebleminded by Ariana Harwicz | Literary Noise

In her follow-up to Die, My Love, Ariana Harwicz is just as brutal and intense as before. Co-translated by Annie McDermott and Carolina Orloff (who is also the wonderful director and editor of Charco Press), Feebleminded is a visceral account of a mother-daughter relationship in an unspecified village, and it follows the daughter’s complicated affair with a married man. It is a story full of sex and violence, saturated with alcohol, and written in nebulous but often poetic and associative language, as the very first lines of the novel reveal:

I come from nowhere. The world is a cave, a stone heart crushing you, a horizontal vertigo. The world is a moon slashed by black whips, by arrows and gunfire. How far must I dig before striking disdain, before my days burn. I could have been born with white eyes like the forest of stark pines, and yet I’m woken by volcanic ash on the garden clover. And yet my mother’s pulling out clumps of hair and throwing them on the fire

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