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Almost Never

A Novel
Daniel Sada; Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver
This Rabelaisian tale of lust and longing in the drier precincts of postwar Mexico introduces one of Latin America’s most admired writers to the English-speaking world.

Demetrio Sordo is an agronomist who passes his days in a dull but remunerative job at a ranch near Oaxaca. It is 1945, World War II has just ended, but those bloody events have had no impact on a country that is only on the cusp of industrializing. One day, more bored than usual, Demetrio visits a bordello in search of a libidinous solution to his malaise. There he begins an all-consuming and, all things considered, perfectly satisfying relationship with a prostitute named Mireya.

A letter from his mother interrupts Demetrio’s debauched idyll: she asks him to return home to northern Mexico to accompany her to a wedding in a small town on the edge of the desert. Much to his mother’s delight, he meets the beautiful and virginal Renata and quickly falls in love—a most proper kind of love.

Back in Oaxaca, Demetrio is torn, the poor cad. Naturally he tries to maintain both relationships, continuing to frolic with Mireya and beginning a chaste correspondence with Renata. But Mireya has problems of her own—boredom is not among them—and concocts a story that she hopes will help her escape from the bordello and compel Demetrio to marry her. Almost Never is a brilliant send-up of Latin American machismo that also evokes a Mexico on the verge of dramatic change.

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“Of my generation I most admire Daniel Sada, whose writing project seems to me the most daring.”—Roberto Bolaño

About the Author

Daniel  Sada
Credit: Pascual Borzelli Iglesias
Daniel Sada was born in Mexicali, Mexico, in 1953, and died in 2011, in Mexico City. Considered by many as the boldest and most innovative writer in Spanish of his generation, he published eight volumes of short stories, nine novels, including One Out of Two, and three volumes of poetry. He was awarded numerous prizes including the Herralde Prize for Almost Never as well as Mexico’s most prestigious literary award, the National Prize for Arts and Sciences for Literature.
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Katherine Silver is an award-winning translator of Spanish and Latin American literature. Her recent translations include One Out of Two and Almost Never by Daniel Sada, and works by Martín Adán, Horacio Castellanos Moya, César Aira, and Marcos Giralt Torrente. She is the director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and lives in Berkeley, California.
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  • A 2012 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • “A strangely irresistible story of lust and tedium, Sada’s final novel rewards readers’ patience.”—Shelf Awareness for Readers
  • “The first English translation of Daniel Sada, Almost Never, is a bright introduction of this Spanish star who brings humor and unmatched style to the ordinary.”The Rumpus
  • “[Almost Never] is an extraordinary, wittily crass book.”—PopMatters
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