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La trabajadora by Elvira Navarro
Tres voces. Two triangles. Three voices. A matriarchal twist on a road movie: father and son set out on the road together, for the first and possibly the last time, while mother speaks up and sets out on a mission of her own, this one possibly even more risky.
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- La trabajadora;
Lito has just turned ten and dreams of trucks. Mario is sick and has troubles with his memory. Haunted by the idea of loss, Elena dives into a cathartic adventure with the potential to challenge her mortal limits. Alternating between tenderness and rawness, Fabricated Memories moves from childhood to wickedness, from family to sorrow. A disturbing novel that delves into the relationship between Thatanos and Eros, posing a question with deep consequences: how does illness affect the way we read and experience sex?.
One of the best books of , according to La Vanguardia. Paperback —. Add to Cart. Also by Andres Neuman. See all books by Andres Neuman. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Ernest Hemingway. Ray Bradbury. Danielle Steel. Elisa herself suffers from panic attacks, and takes medication to control her mental health. And she is disposed to exploring the City at night, particularly the more abandoned environs, half-built or abandoned buildings often populated by the homeless, dispossessed or illegal immigrants, semi-tolerated by the owners and authorities.
I usually left the apartment at night, which meant my encounters with the guys from the truck became almost routine. I continued to haunt the old prison, which had become a forest of rubble, a steep forest through which cockroaches scurried, and emitted a false glow at night—what in fact glimmered on the rubble were the lights from the Avenida de los Poblados.
But it was as if those Dantesque fragments had light bulbs within them. A band of 5 Romanies who roam the outskirts at night, scavenging for rubbish. And they typically throw abuse at her, or, quite often and as they did on their first encounter, sharpened pieces of cardboard the edge of some stapled box — or she wonders, do they, or did the cardboard simply blow off their truck? I was a long way away, quietly hunched down out of sight: there was a candy wrapper on the ground at my feet, and I could hear the chirping of insects. What I did know was certain materials were being stolen for resale on the black market.
I felt the need to stand up, and as I did brushed against some piece of corrugated iron that fell with a loud clang. They stood very still, making sweeps with their lights. The only things behind me were wire fencing, trees, and darkness. She refuses to talk about her job, her family other than admitting, at one point, that her father spent time in the aforementioned prison and even her friends seem more recent acquaintances.
Susana is also an aspiring artist, her medium of choice maps of the city which she painstakingly assembles from manually cut out and pasted images. The final, brief, section of the novel is a conversation between Elisa and her psychoanalyst, one which felt was meant to cause us to question the nature of what we have read — although Elisa has been clear throughout her account that she is telling us a cathartic story.
Overall, a far from straightforward work and at times I found it difficult to get a foothold but thought-provoking and worthwhile. View 2 comments. This was a bit of a challenging read for me. I read it for Women in Translation month.
It's a short novel told in three long pieces, the first is Elisa's roommate Susana telling about her attempts to find a partner willing to do a specific sexual act. And as in most instances where a writer fixates on a body part or a sexual act, I grow weary before they are through and feel like, okay, great, you proved you can. Is there a purpose? Is this a metaphor? And should we still be using the word dwar This was a bit of a challenging read for me. And should we still be using the word dwarf?
The middle section focuses on Elisa and her financial and mental struggles. Life is not easy for an editor in Madrid. Then the last section focuses again on mental illness and versions of reality. This book snuck up on me. It kept getting better and better and I couldn't really put my finger on why I was enjoying it so much. After finishing, I think it's because it's such a multifaceted, mutating work.
It changes from one thing to another, which is a testament to both its subtlety and, from a story standpoint, the baseline unreliability of the characters. I think what's most impressive about the book is how many layers there are to it. There's a whole aspect of the book that weaves in the This book snuck up on me. There's a whole aspect of the book that weaves in the Spanish fiscal crisis from that manifests itself in the poverty Elvira sees on her walks around Madrid and in Elvira's underpaid job at a book publisher--how she'd like to make enough money "to pay for a downtown apartment, without having to share.
I was reminded of so many of my favorite books. The casual askewness of Tom McCarthy's Remainder ; the interior strangeness and isolation of Claire-Louise Bennett's Pond ; the icy sharpness and straightforwardness of Fleur Jaeggy's books; the potentially volatile closeness of two women, especially toward the end as Susana's art gains focus, reminded me of The Woman Upstairs ; the patchwork structure of Valeria Luiselli; and, sometimes, despite being first person, the book will sort of disembody itself and just describe the city of Madrid and other details of the landscape, which reminded me of Gerald Murnane's characterlessness and plotlessness.
It also reminded me of Mulholland Drive and Persona in the psychological twisting of Susana and Elena. Of course, the inclination with something that feels new and exciting is to try to think of what else it reminds you of that you're familiar with, but really none of them exactly apply. The novel stands on its own. The writing is excellent. It's not showy, it just sort of unfolds using its own momentum. Here's one of my favorite passages: The silence, on the other hand, suggested unoccupied buildings about to be torn down.
When I turned onto one of those streets on another occasion, I saw cables strung from some of the balconies to streetlights, stealing electricity. It was only a few, of course, but that didn't stop me from returning to the unlikely conviction that there were underground movements capable of modifying my mental vision of the city, and also the conception of it I read in newspapers, or saw on television and the Internet.
This pretty vague conviction--or perhaps, better, off-track intuition--made me uneasy. If accurate, it was equivalent to discovering we were Martians, someone's dream, or a computer program in which the rules changed from day to day. But then the Romanies and homeless families had been occupying the city's empty buildings for decades, and since the increase in immigration, many dwellings on the outskirts had been broken into.
I'd heard stories of family members being unable to come to an agreement about what to do with their inheritance, of empty properties perched on the slopes on either side of the railroad tracks, or boxed in between new buildings when, for complex legal reasons, they could not be expropriated. The heirs allowed homeless families to live in the disputed buildings for the cost of maintenance.
At one time I'd taken an interest in uncovering such phenomena, and used to prowl the streets where the aged houses seemed to be fresh and flourishing, but that was all Id' been able to confirm.
And another: Susana brought me a cup of rooibos tea in one of the cups with a cow design I cart from apartment to apartment. I'd bought them one of the summers I spent in small Irish towns, learning English with a view to my promising future. I stayed with families where the women had the same pale complexion as Susana, and her blue eyes, although none of them were either tall or corpulent.
All I remember about Ireland is the coastal scenery between Greystones and Bray, and the afternoon some friends and I broke a window of a tumbledown empty house and scrambled in. There were no bats, no rat skeletons, just columns made of packs of A4 paper. The packs were old, the paper yellowing; we took as many as we could carry and scattered the sheets of paper along the beach. I haven't been back to Ireland since that summer. And another: What's more, I love it when breaches open up, and when things take an unexpected turn.
I like it when the car breaks down halfway to my destination, and I have to spend the night in some small town I'd never have even considered stopping in otherwise, or when there's a power outage--though that hasn't happened for a long time--and the air is filled with the scent of candles and camping-stove fuel.
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Synonyms and antonyms of arrumbadora in the Spanish dictionary of synonyms
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