The Bitch

(Author) (Translator)
Product Details
$14.99  $13.94
World Editions
Publish Date
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.

LISA DILLMAN lives in Georgia, USA, where she translates Spanish, Catalan, and Latin American writers and teaches at Emory University. Some of her recent translations include Such Small Hands (winner of the 2018 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Award) by Andrés Barba; Signs Preceding the End of the World (winner of the 2016 Best Translated Book Award), Kingdom Cons, and The Transmigration of Bodies (shortlisted for the 2018 Dublin Literary Award) by Yuri Herrera; and Breathing Through the Wound and A Million Drops by Víctor del Árbol.


"The Bitch distills entire social, ethical, and cultural universes into a potent short novel, thanks to Pilar Quintana's remarkable eye for detail and Lisa Dillman's spare yet stirring translation. Set in a coastal town in Colombia, this novel is populated by complex characters outlined with minimalist strokes of absolute precision, and offers a startling, profound portrait of frustrated desire that will stay with the reader for a long time to come." --National Book Award Judges Citation

"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

"This acclaimed novella follows a woman raising a dog in an isolated community on the Pacific coast. Quintana's depiction of the jungle is unforgettable, with its countless storms, insects and garbage washed up on the beach. This is a powerful, jolting tale about class, motherhood and rage." --Julianne Pachico, The Guardian

"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

"Sardonic and pitch-black, The Bitch begins when childless Damaris brings an orphaned puppy home to the shack she shares with her fisherman husband...what ensues is written with such viciousness that it slices all the way down to the bone." --Vox

"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

"Like the themes it explores, Quintana's prose is stark and somewhat grim...Quintana's book is an engrossing, engaging read that can be enjoyed over a few hours, and one of the best examples of Wendepunkt--an unexpected turn of events--I have come across in a very long time." --Harvard Review Online

"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

"The Bitch by Pilar Quintana is a heartrending portrait of loneliness and womanhood set in the Pacific Coast of Colombia, a place that, in the author's own words, is forgotten by the state. Damaris, a mature woman with multiple disappointments in life, adopts a dog and calls it "Chirli," using the name she would have used for the daughter she never had. This intense and moving relationship tells a story about motherhood, infertility, abuse, and survival. The Bitch is a challenging, relentless, honest, and gorgeously told story about life's hardships on Colombia's Pacific coast. --Electric Literature

"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

"Pilar Quintana weaves human nature and the chaos of the universe together with extraordinary mastery. This is a novel full of mysteries about unfulfilled desire, guilt, and the places where love still exists." --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