2020 Longlist

The Taiga Syndrome


Translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana

2020 Longlist

The Taiga Syndrome follows an unnamed Ex-Detective as she searches for a couple who has fled to the far reaches of the earth. A betrayed husband is convinced by a brief telegram that his second ex-wife wants him to track her down – that she wants to be found. He hires the Ex-Detective, who sets out with a translator into a snowy, hostile forest where strange things happen and translation betrays both sense and one’s senses. Tales of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood haunt the Ex-Detective’s quest into a territory overrun with the primitive excesses of Capitalism accumulation and expulsion, corruption and cruelty – though the lessons of her journey are more experiential than moral: that just as love can fly away, sometimes unloving flies away as well.

About the Author

Cristina Rivera Garza is the award-winning author of six novels, three collections of stories, five collections of poetry, and three non-fiction books. Originally written in Spanish, these works have been translated into English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, and more. She is a distinguished Professor in Hispanic Studies and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

Librarian’s Comments

This is a novel that invites to philosophical reflection, in as much it seeks ultimate explanations for apparently unjustified decisions.  This detective story combines a simple plot, a complex narrative structure and fairy-tale references to ask what might be behind the contagious madness we human beings must cope with.

Rivera Garza’s work has been praised by Carlos Fuentes, and received the Anna Seghers Award for Latin American Literature (2005); the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Award (2001 and 2009); and more recently the Roger Caillois Award for Latin American Literature (2013). Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, Mexico


Rivera Garza




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