The Bitch

Pilar Quintana (Author) Lisa Dillman (Translator)

Product Details

$14.99  $13.79
World Editions
Publish Date
August 04, 2020
4.9 X 7.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

PILAR QUINTANA is a Colombian author. She debuted with Cosquillas en la lengua in 2003, and published Coleccionistas de polvos raros in 2007, the same year the Hay Festival selected her as one of the most promising young authors of Latin America. Her latest novel, The Bitch, is 2020 National Book Awards Translated Literature Finalist, has won the prestigious Colombian Biblioteca de Narrativa Prize, and was selected for several Best Books of 2017 lists, as well as being chosen as one of the most valuable objects to preserve for future generations in a marble time capsule in Bogotá. The Bitch is the first of her works to be translated into English.


"Set on Colombia's Pacific coast, The Bitch by Pilar Quintana is a portrait of a woman wrestling with abandonment, love, and her need to nurture. Translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman, the narrative follows the main character's adoption of a dog that disappears into the jungle; when the dog returns, she nurses it to health but when it flees once more, there are brutal consequences."--National Book Foundation, 2020 National Book Award Longlist in Translated Literature

"A searing psychological portrait of a troubled woman contending with her instinct to nurture is at the heart of Colombian writer Quintana's slim, potent English-language debut...The brutal scenes unfold quickly, with lean, stinging prose. Quintana's vivid novel about love, betrayal, and abandonment hits hard." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"The Bitch is a novel of true violence. Artist that she is, Pilar Quintana uncovers wounds we didn't know we had, shows us their beauty, and then throws a handful of salt into them." --Yuri Herrera, author of Signs Preceding the End of the World

"The magic of this sparse novel is its ability to talk about many things, all of them important, while seemingly talking about something else entirely. What are those things? Violence, loneliness, resilience, cruelty. Quintana works wonders with her disillusioned, no-nonsense, powerful prose." --Juan Gabriel Vásquez

"A very sensual book that gets under your skin. An overwhelming exploration of maternal desire in the beautiful landscapes of Colombia." --Leila Slimani, author of The Perfect Nanny

"Quintana patiently explores [the] darkening intense story" --Kirkus Reviews

"Engrossing...The Bitch is a subtle, moving novel about a struggle to overcome loneliness in an eerie place, among memorable people and animals." --Foreword Reviews

"The Bitch by Colombian writer Pilar Quintana is a devastating portrayal of the aching, unbearable weight that can be felt from guilt, violence, the drive to nurture and the need for human connection." --Shelf Awareness

"Beautifully captures the eerie, wild setting near both the jungle and the ocean. The characters are unforgettable...This is a gorgeous heartbreak of a novel." --BookRiot

"This book changes you. It looks deeply into motherhood, cruelty and just how unyielding nature can be, with its wild Colombian coast landscape, which is as gorgeous as it is brutal. The result is unforgettable." --Mariana Enriquez, author of Things We Lost in the Fire

"Pilar Quintana's The Bitch is a taut, terse tale of guilt, shame, and frustrated desire. Quintana, selected as one of the illustrious Bogotá39 authors in 2007, has crafted a slim, yet powerful story sparse on the prose, yet heavy on the impact. With ample violence and brutality, The Bitch lays bare the precipitous emotional and existential toll compounding resentment and failed ambitions inevitably exact. Quintana foregoes literary flourish in favor of a direct, unequivocal style, making her new novel a tough, even tender take (despite the cruelty) on yearning, bitterness, regret, and grief." --Jeremy Garber, Powell's

--Gabriela Alemán, author of Poso Wells

"A raw yet beautiful story about maternity and the jungle." --Hay Festival

"The world of Damaris is heartbreakingly true, it's there, closer than we think, and yet remains invisible." --El País

"Pilar Quintana has created a psychological tale that sweeps and drags us like the waves of the sea." --El Tiempo

"To narrate the baroque jungle and American sea with such sobriety is a great triumph." --Semana

"The Bitch is far from simple in its brevity, communicating an inner universe that readers can easily identify with, by having experienced similar circumstances, reliving childhood, or relating to the portrayal of the landscape and those who inhabit it. This novel is a little gem that reminds me, in its intensity and fluidity, of, The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, or The Pearl by Steinbeck." --El Nuevo Día

"A profound and moving drama about life and destiny." --WMagazín

"A tale narrated with skill and a steady hand." --El Espectador

"Set in Colombia's Pacific coast, The Bitch is a novel that holds the controlled and natural perfection in the narration until the very end." --World Translations Review

"This is a book suffused with privation, in which the jungle is made everyday rather than exoticized, and it's exponentially more powerful for that. Each of its 155 pages--and its unflinching ending--are focused on showing us how Damaris's life is inexorably stripped down to its bare nerves; language isn't in service of aesthetics here, but of a surgically precise excavation of a life at a point of extremis." Bookmunch