Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Feminist Press
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Cristina Rivera Garza is an award-winning author, translator, and critic. Her books, originally written in Spanish, have been translated into multiple languages. She is the recipient of the Roger Caillois Award for Latin American Literature (2013), the Anna Seghers-Preis (2005), and the only two-time winner of the International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize (2001; 2009). In 2020, Rivera Garza was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Grant. She received her PhD in 2012 in Latin American history from the University of Houston, where she is currently Distinguished Professor in Hispanic Studies.


"A lucid, poignant collection of essays and poetry. . . . deeply hopeful, ultimately love letters to writing itself, and to the power of language to overcome the silence that impunity imposes." --New York Times Book Review

"For all the losses tallied, the pieces are imbued with optimism and an activist's passion for reshaping the world." --The New Yorker

"A compelling work of social criticism that speaks to a desperate time." --Kirkus Reviews

"If the continuation of violence depends on silence and impunity, Rivera Garza believes that writing can throw a wrench in that machine. . . . Rather than capitulate, Rivera Garza's work demands that we see this violence for what it is. Use language to name it, to see it, to speak to it, and then to do something about it." --The Nation

"Grieving is a riveting collection of essays. . . . the book succeeds in shedding light on the dynamics of state power, patriarchy, and violence, allowing femicide to exist and the counterresponse 'tragic agency' to emerge." --Latino Book Review

"A concise but weighty and timely collection of essays and dispatches." --Washington Post Book Review

"Evocative and informative." --Words Without Borders

"Rivera Garza applies a lingual scalpel to the narrative of systemic violence: a narrative enacted on both sides of the border by governments, law enforcement, drug cartels, and the media who sensationalize, erase, or ignore the violence." --Brooklyn Rail

"A powerful, heartbreaking chronicle of the violence that's taken place in Mexico along the U.S.-Mexico border. . . . not only a book of mourning and loss, but one of vitality, of love, and of hope for a changed future." --Refinery29

"Rivera Garza's remarkable writing captures a sense of place through evocative imagery and detail. Her incisive look at Mexico's national grief emphasizes the humanity and struggle of daily life there. Highlighting activists and social movements, Grieving is a thought-provoking, moving analysis of social and political reckoning in Mexico." --Booklist

"Grieving is simultaneously a testament, a manifesto, and a living embodiment of its own call to action." --Women's Review of Books

"[Grieving] is a new texture, a different, completely ethical reading contract produced by means of slowness, evincing a corporate, capitalist, neoliberal political system that bet on monetary profit rather than our bodies. These fragments take on a life of their own in this book. They are reorganized in the form of a map, a new reality in which we all exist." --Latin American Literature Today

"Sobering and wise and beautiful." --Book Riot

"To read Rivera Garza's work is to experience a visceral relationship with the written word." --Sightlines

"Elegant and scathing. . . . [Rivera Garza] writes about the power of the collective voicing of misogynistic acts, and it is here that we find the courage and hope--not from politicians or the legal system, but in the voices of everyday people refusing to be silenced." --Mom Egg Review

"Finally this urgent manifesto on how we gaze upon trauma is available in translation. Cristina Rivera Garza's Grieving was an early major reckoning with violence in contemporary Mexico, but its relevance, like the causes of the crisis, extends far beyond the border. Like one of its forebears, Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others, it approaches violence not as mere intellectual exercise but with great ethical care. This book demands readers reassess their relationship to survivors, to those who remain vulnerable, and to the 'Visceraless State' that abets violence if not performing it outright. A brilliant work that traces a path toward healing for bodies exposed to the many violences of our world today." --Rubén Martínez, author of Desert America: A Journey through Our Most Divided Landscape

"Cristina Rivera Garza is a writer of startling luminosity. In Grieving, she shows the light to be found in acts of collective mourning, and how art can be part of the process of grieving together, of understanding with new complexity the forces driving the devastating violence on the US-Mexican border and within Mexico. Sarah Booker's translation recreates the urgency of Rivera Garza's prose with exceptional vitality." --Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew

"A bold and brilliant return to the thorny questions of our ongoing state of violence. Should we remain speechless? Should we share our pain? What is to be learned in the journey into horror? When does sorrow become a political instrument of dissent? Mexico's most impressive essayist and writer, Cristina Rivera Garza chooses not to speak alone or in the name of others but with all those who grieve with her." --Lina Meruane, author of Seeing Red

"Cristina Rivera Garza writes, about one of many ostentatious displays of murder in Mexico, that 'the very reason acts like these are carried out is so that we are rendered speechless.' But Rivera Garza forcefully resists such silencing, not with a wail or plaintive lament, but in a deliberate, careful, deeply empathetic act of literary grace and aplomb. Grieving is at once a gorgeous elegy, a clarion call to action, and a revindication of the human spirit. Rivera Garza's prose, and her political celebration of the written word, is liberatory." --John Washington, author of The Dispossessed: A Story of Asylum and the US-Mexican Border and Beyond

"Rivera Garza's Grieving documents and shares a writer's struggle to face the horror enveloping her country, and the world, with every possible tool and weapon of both language and feeling. The result is a vital and burning work of social grieving; that is, of fighting back, of not giving up or giving in, of commitment and survival." --John Gibler, author of I Couldn't Even Imagine That They Would Kill Us: An Oral History of the Attacks Against the Students of Ayotzinapa

"In writing about Mexican violence, misogyny, natural disasters, pandemics, art and literature, resistance, about Mexican women, US Latinx, and about herself, Cristina Rivera Garza writes about the universal conditions of our world today. She does so with prose unmatched for its sharp intelligence, poetry, clarity, empathy, liveliness, passion. She is a genius, 'our' necessary voice." --Francisco Goldman, author of The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle

"Laying bare the foundations of state violence and collective trauma while also imploring its readers to 'imagine the impossible, the world we want to live in, ' Grieving asks, 'Can writing keep us company--we, the broken ones still alive with rage and hope?' Arriving, as this translation does, amid masks and distancing--but also in the throes of a great unmasking of horrors and complicities--I affirm, with Cristina Rivera Garza, that yes, sin duda, 'I believe writing can. At the very least, writing should.' Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country is the perfect book to accompany us through these uncertain times." --Rosa Alcalá, author of MyOTHER Tongue