The result is an absorbing, compassionately rendered portrait of a place, its people and its ills. The stories are punctuated by brief but telling allusions to the material conditions that sustain the moral degradation she describes: police corruption, social security cuts, prison overcrowding, unscrupulous building contractors. Melchors macabre aesthetic has shades of gothic horror, but she is a Dickensian at heart. Houman Barekat, Sunday Times Melchor evokes the stories of Flannery OConnor, or, more recently, Marlon Jamess A Brief History of Seven Killings. Impressive. Julian Lucas, New York Times Fernanda Melchor has a powerful voice, and by powerful I mean unsparing, devastating, the voice of someone who writes with rage and has the skill to pull it off. Samanta Schweblin, author of Fever Dream Time spent with her writing leaves no doubt: the unholy noise she creates is the work of someone who knows exactly which notes to hit. Chris Power, Guardian Dont get too hung up on what exactly This Is Not Miami is, though, and youll find its world filthy, disquieting and compulsive. Pippa Bailey, New Statesman She isnt holding a Stendhalian mirror up to Mexican society; shes dissecting its body and its psyche at the same time, unafraid of what she might find. ... In Melchors world, theres no resisting the violence, much less hating it. All a novelist can do, she seems to suggest, is take a long, unsparing look at the hell that weve made. Juan Gabriel Vzquez, New Yorker In addition to bravely presenting dark truths, Melchor writes from a good heartMelchor makes her point (not without sorrow and gruesome humor), then gets out of the way, so that her subjects can speak. William T. Vollmann, New York Times Melchor isnt inventing anything in broad strokesShes not playing with facts so much as how facts are delivered oral history, first person, second person, ghost story, legend. A lesser journalist massages details to more perfectly fit a narrative. Melchor is doing something more like the opposite: playing with form to expose the lies, hypocrisies, hatreds and oversights that soften or avoid the reality of human evil. Melchor isnt claiming to know the whole story. But what she means to say is that we should think twice before we do as well. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times Skillfully translated by Hughes, this is a book thats as gorgeous as it is dark, and it proves that Melchor is one of the finest writers working today. Absolutely stunning. Kirkus starred review Melchor resists the seductive burden of explaining the realities (or exaggerations) of such non-European regions in blistering, true-crime detail. Though based on real events, these relatos are decidedly not journalistic, and not even realist. Melchors prose blooms under that strange light. Lisa Yin Zhang, Frieze Translator Sophie Hughes has performed another heroic feat in rendering Melchors winding sentences into breathtakingly stylish English. These stories, packed with dismembered limbs and immolation, are not for the faint-hearted, but Melchors writing offers a special, twisted kind of beauty. Michael Delgado, i News In finding a narrative for those who are rarely given literary or any other kind of airtime, and in writing in a vernacular that acknowledges the cruelty that lurks in the language of neutral observation, Melchor writes a new kind of folklore that allows us to hear the ferocious reality of contemporary violence. Jess Cotton, Jacobin Seamlessly translated by Sophie Hughes from the initial Spanish, This Is Not Miami is a compelling read. However, be warned; these tales may well devour your dreaming. Annie Hayter, Big Issue In a country where corruption runs rampant, where the official story from the police or the governmen
Born in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1982, Fernanda Melchor is widely recognized as one of the most exciting new voices of Mexican literature. Her novel Hurricane Season was shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award. Paradais, her second novel to appear in English, was longlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize.