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The Bitch

Pilar Quintana

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“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

In Colombia’s brutal jungle, childless Damaris develops an intense and ultimately doomed relationship with an orphaned puppy.

Colombia’s Pacific coast, where everyday life entails warding off the brutal forces of nature. In this constant struggle, nothing is taken for granted. Damaris lives with her fisherman husband in a shack on a bluff overlooking the sea. Childless and at that age “when women dry up,” as her uncle puts it, she is eager to adopt an orphaned puppy. But this act may bring more than just affection into her home.The Bitch is written in a prose as terse as the villagers, with stormsâ??both meteorological and emotionalâ??lurking around each corner. Beauty and dread live side by side in this poignant exploration of the many meanings of motherhood and love.

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