Dead Girls

(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
Charco Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.7 X 0.6 inches | 0.45 pounds
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About the Author

Compared to Carson McCullers, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Sara Gallardo and Juan Carlos Onetti, Selva Almada (Entre Ríos, Argentina, 1973) is considered one of the most powerful voices of contemporary Argentinian and Latin American literature and one of the most influential feminist intellectuals of the region. Including her début The Wind that Lays Waste, she has published three novels, a book of short stories, a book of journalistic fiction and a film diary (written on the set of Lucrecia Martel's most recent film Zama, based on Antonio di Benedetto's novel). She has been finalist for the Medifé Prize, the Rodolfo Walsh Award and of the Tigre Juan Award. Her work has been translated into French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swedish and Turkish. This is her fourth book to appear in English after The Wind that Lays Waste (Winner of the EIBF First Book Award 2019), Dead Girls (2020), and Brickmakers (2021).Annie McDermott is the translator of a dozen books from Spanish and Portuguese, by such writers as Mario Levrero, Ariana Harwicz, Brenda Lozano, Fernanda Trías and Lídia Jorge. She was awarded the Premio Valle-Inclán for her translation of Wars of the Interior by Joseph Zárate, and her translation of Brickmakers by Selva Almada was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation. She has previously lived in Mexico City and São Paulo, Brazil, and is now based in Hastings, in the UK.


Almada combines reportage, fiction, and autobiography to explore femicide in Argentina in her acute, unflinching latest. --Publishers Weekly, starred review

Almada's prose is sparse, but the details count. Her ear for dialogue and especially gossip is pitch perfect. Her eye for detail is hawkish. --LA Review of Books

Part journalism, part history, part autobiography, part relentless nightmare. --Shelf Awareness, starred review

Not an easy book, but it feels like an important one - a work of investigative writing about how easily women's lives are obscured. --The Scotsman

An unassuming yet intensely felt narrative. (4 stars) --The Arts Desk

This is a powerful read...[Almada's] effective use of fiction ensures a deep empathy in her readers which strict reportage sometimes fails to evoke. --The Big Issue

Genre-defying, with beautifully crafted and reflective prose. --The F Word

You'll walk away from this book with a vivid memory of where you were, how you were feeling, and what the weather was like on the day that you read Dead Girls. --Books and Bao

The literary quality of the text shines. --Sound and Vision

The prose strikes a perfect tone - clinical and punchy when necessary, angry and lyrical, brutal yet humanistic. --TN2

Exquisite prose that vibrates with a deep, melodious rage. --The Monthly Booking

It's crisp, bracing, and beautiful. --White Review

It is a profound novel and call to action still relevant as activists continue to take to the streets throughout Latin America to decry, 'ni una más' (not one more). --The Skinny

A tense, precise chronicle that treats seriously a still serious subject. --El Cultural

A powerful read, shedding a stark light on the horrors of gender violence. --The Big Issue

This is not a book that will make you feel at peace with the world, but that is precisely where its strength and persuasion lie. --Translating Women

Challenge[s] the true crime obsession in an indirect way. --Pendora Magazine

What makes the book compelling is how the author explores issues of domestic violence, state complicity, machismo and family negligence, along with class and social inequalities, in a non-sentimental prose which is all the more effective as result. --Morning Star

Part coming-of-age, part detective work, partly a web of rumors, Almada's story fuses a variety of genres to create a work that splits the seams of personal narrative, journalism, and fiction. --NACLA

The devastating conclusion of the narrator is that the women who survive are unlikely to have made it unscathed but they are lucky ones - lucky to be alive. --NB Magazine

Fate has in Dead Girls the perfume of a Greek tragedy: immutable, irreversible, lethal. --El País

Far from the detective story, this is an intimate tale, a certain negative of the autobiography of a young woman looking at other young women and how all of them are perceived by a society where misogyny and violence against them is still an everyday affair. --Pagina/12

Selva Almada reinvents the imaginative rural world of a country. She is an author gifted with a very uncommon power and sensitivity. --Rolling Stone (Argentina)

Gripping, shocking and sad. --The Book Satchel

Praise for Selva Almada

  • Edinburgh International Book Festival First book Award (Winner)
  • Book Cover of the Year (Saltire Awards) (Winner)

Like Flannery O'Connor and Juan Rulfo, Almada fills her taut, eerie novel with an understanding of rural life, loneliness, temptation and faith. --BBC Culture

Billed as a 'promising voice' in Latin American literature, this tale delivers readily on that promise. --Booklist

The drama of this refreshingly unpredictable debut . . . smolders like a lit fuse waiting to touch off its well-orchestrated events. . . . A stimulating, heady story. --Publishers Weekly

The story packs a punch in its portraits of a man who exalts heaven and another who protests. --Kirkus

A dynamic introduction to a major Latin American literary force. --Shelf Awareness, starred review

[The Wind That Lays Waste] delivers exactly that compressed pressurised electricity of a gathering thunderstorm: it sparks and sputters with live-wire tension. --TANK Magazine

The Wind That Lays Waste is elegant and stark, a kind of emblem or vision fetched from the far edges of things, arrested and stripped to its essence, as beautiful as it is unnerving. --Paul Harding, author of TINKERS

The Wind That Lays Waste is a mesmerizing novel, at once strange and compelling. --Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of MOTHERS, TELL YOUR DAUGHTERS

The quality and resolve of her prose produce a power of suggestion that is unique to Selva Almada. --El País

The best novel written in Argentina in the last few years? Don't know, and don't care, but you must read Selva Almada. --El País

Almada's prose has a touch of the Faulkner of As I Lay Dying but passed through the filters of the dirty light of the cotton fields and the clean clothes worn by country people to Sunday mass. --Germán Machado

A distinctive debut: atmospheric, tension-packed, and written in vivid, poetic language. --Books from Scotland

Perhaps most powerful in the book is Almada's focus on detail―she skillfully renders the story of a day in brief chapters that reveal the thoughts and fleeting encounters of characters, who are largely living inside themselves. --Ploughshares

Almada's nuanced approach leaves room to explore her characters' pasts in some detail, but, crucially, these individuals . . . are not defined by their mistakes. --ZYZZYVA

What seems fantastical soon turns hyper-realistic, in a style that is reminiscent of Juan Rulfo or Sara Gallardo. --La Nación