El mal de la Taiga
Cristina Rivera Garza

NOVEL | 2012 | 122 pages


A fairy tale run amok, THE TAIGA SYNDROME follows an unnamed female 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, though the lessons of her journey are more experiential than moral: that just as love can fly away, sometimes unloving flies away as well. That sometimes leaving everything behind is the only thing left to do.


RIGHTS: spanish PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | english (usa) DOROTHY PROJECT I english (uk) AND OTHER STORIES | turkish YUZ KITAP | spanish audio STORYTEL

As lyrical as a poem (‘Look at this: your knees. They are used for kneeling upon reality, also for crawling, terrified. You use them to sit on a lotus flower and say goodbye to the immensity’) and as fantastic as a fairy tale, Rivera Garza’s gorgeous, propulsive novel will haunt readers long after it’s finished.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This insanely creepy & brilliant book by the incomparable Cristina Rivera Garza will keep you awake at night. Garza is a master of atmosphere. A detective novel directed by David Lynch & narrated by Bolaño.
— Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore
This novel, in a translation by Levine and Kana, is taught, lyrical, and strange, and it fits right in with Dorothy, A Publishing Project’s commitment to work that challenges what genres and forms can do. Like the best speculative fiction, it follows the sinuous paths of its own logic but gives the reader plenty of room to play. Fans of fairy tales and detective stories, Kathryn Davis and Idra Novey, will all find something to love. An eerie, slippery gem of a book.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Innovative Mexican author Rivera Garza’s dazzling speculative noir novel is narrated by a woman hired to find a man’s missing second wife. . . . As she tracks the mysterious couple over snow-covered trails in the boreal forest, the universe becomes eerie and unpredictable. She encounters a feral boy, a ferocious wolf, earthy villagers and wild lumberjacks. Rivera Garza invokes Hansel and Gretel as she spins her marvellous, atmospheric tale.
— Jane Ciabattari, “The 10 Best Books of 2018” BBC.com
The contemporary Latin American detective novel is a form that uses the individual’s rollicking quest as a means of resistance against repressive structures and the violences they engender. Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Taiga Syndrome, in this stellar translation by Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana, gives English-language readers a lyrically luminous take on the genre while not skimping on its adventurous antics. If The Taiga Syndrome is a book of illness, it’s also about exile, disappearance, borders, love, language and translation, desire, capitalism and its discontents, fairy tales, and what it means to be possessed by the madness of others and the madness of ourselves. The murmurs that haunt the detective in The Taiga Syndrome evoke the history of Mexican fiction, most notably Juan Rulfo. But this is not a religious state of purgatory. It’s more like Apocalypse Now fused with the worlds of Clarice Lispector and Jorge Luis Borges. In other words, there is no one writing novels as phantasmagorically exquisite as Cristina Rivera Garza’s. The Taiga Syndrome, which is both quietly poetic and narratively unhinged, is a crucial addition to her distinguished oeuvre.
— Daniel Borzutzky
One of Mexico’s greatest living writers, apparently, and—go figure—we are just barely beginning to catch up to what she has to offer. . . . I’m excited.
— Jonathan Lethem


Había mucha neblina o humo o no sé qué ESSAYS, 2016 Los muertos indóciles. Necroescrituras y desaprobación ESSAYS, 2013 El mal de la taiga NOVEL, 2012 Verde Shanghai NOVEL, 2011 Dolerse. Textos desde un país herido ESSAYS, 2011 La Castañeda. Narrativas desde el Manicomio General, 1910-1930 ESSAYS, 2010 La frontera más distante SHORT STORIES, 2008 La muerte me da NOVEL, 2007 Lo anterior NOVEL, 2004 Ningún reloj cuenta esto SHORT STORIES, 2002 La cresta de Ilion NOVEL, 2002 Nadie me verá llorar NOVEL, 1999