'El otro lado': Eight chronicles against cynicism in Latin America
'El otro lado' gathers 130 newspaper columns by Argentine writer Mariana Enriquez, considered the queen of horror novels in Spanish.
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Mariana Enriquez is a well-known Argentine writer and journalist, who in recent years has positioned herself as one of the most powerful female voices in Spanish-language literature with works such as Nuestra parte de noche (winner of the Premio Herralde de Novela and Premio de la Crítica 2019); the short story collections Los peligros de fumar en la cama, and Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego, published in 20 countries and awarded in 2017 with the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona in the category "Literature in Spanish language," and the chronicles of Alguien camina sobre tu tumba.
Now, fellow Argentine journalist Leila Guerriero has been in charge of editing a volume that collects 130 journalistic columns published by Enriquez in recent years. The book, entitled El otro lado, retratos, fetichismos y confesiones, compiles a set of opinions, chronicles and portraits of renowned artists that shape a self-portrait in installments of the author herself, as Paco Cerdà notes in the "Babelia" section of El País.
Propelled by her powerful style, Enriquez writes about some of her idols and fetishes in areas such as literature and music, as well as dealing with aspects of her own life.
In the pages of El otro lado, readers find a wide range of works, from a delirious interview with the legendary Charly García to a text about the fixation of Buenos Aires passers-by with the author's cleavage. There are also sharp personal pieces about her beginnings as a writer, the first time she was called "madam," her decision not to become a mother and her fascination with homosexual eroticism that coexist with splendid portraits of writers such as Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Lovecraft, Bradbury, Le Guin, Ballard, Richard Matheson and Neil Gaiman.
Also covered are Anne Rice's vampire and BDSM-themed novels; eccentric figures such as Hubert Selby Jr., Kenneth Anger, Joe Dallesandro and Mark Ryden; musicians such as Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Nick Cave or the Manic Street Preachers; actors such as Asia Argento, Jared Leto and Daniel Day-Lewis; female myths such as Sylvia Plath, Nahui Olin and Kate Moss.
Most of the texts were written for the "Radar" section of the Argentine newspaper Página/12, a paper of record across Latin America. Anagrama published El otro lado two years after an edition published in Chile by the Universidad Diego Portales.
Enriquez's work is also available in English in the U.S. Titles such as The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, Things We Lost in the Fire, and Our Share of Night: A Novel (on sale in February 2023), about the mysterious death of a woman who turns her husband and son against her demonic family, are available in English.