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Graywolf Press is proud to announce a series of events throughout 2024 celebrating fifty years of adventurous publishing, featuring debut and longstanding authors and taking place in New York City, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Chicago, and Tucson. More here

Book Title

Not a River

A Novel
Author 1
Selva Almada; Translated from the Spanish by Annie McDermott
It’s not a river, it’s this river.

A hot, motionless afternoon. Enero and El Negro are fishing with Tilo, their dead friend’s teenage son. After hours of struggling with a hooked stingray, Enero aims his revolver into the water and shoots it. They hang the ray’s enormous corpse from a tree at their campsite and let it go to rot, drawing the attention of some local islanders and igniting a long-simmering fury toward outsiders and their carelessness. It’s only the two sisters—the teenage nieces of one of the locals, Aguirre—with their hair black as cowbird feathers and giving off the scent of green grass, who are curious about the trio and invite them to a dance. But the girls are not quite as they seem. As night approaches and tensions rise, Enero and El Negro return to the charged memories of their friend who years ago drowned in this same river.

As uneasy and saturated as a prophetic dream, Not a River is another extraordinary novel by Selva Almada about masculinity, guilt, and irrepressible desire, written in a style that is spare and timeless.

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5.5 x 8.25
A novel that conjures a river thick and dark as ink, teeming with life, memory, and ghosts

About the Author

Selva  Almada
Credit: Agustina Fernández
Selva Almada is the author of Brickmakers, Dead Girls, and The Wind That Lays Waste. She is considered one of the most potent literary voices in Argentina and Latin America.
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Upcoming Events

Cine Latino and MSP Film present a screening of the film "A Ravaging Wind," based on the novel THE WIND THAT LAYS WASTE by Selva Almada, at The Main Cinema, followed by a virtual conversation with Selva Almada and Graywolf Press publisher Carmen Giménez

MSP Film Society in Minneapolis, MNview map
Location: The Main Cinema, 115 SE Main Street, Minneapolis. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets


  • “Told with the hallucinatory atmosphere of a dream, this astonishing, stark novel doesn’t turn away from the hypnotic and disturbing effects of violence. Not a River plunges us straight into the depths of its silences, bracingly so—the longer the quiet goes, the more terrible the rupture.”—Manuel Muñoz
  • “A virtuoso literary work. . . . Flashbacks and side scenes deepen the story which curls and twines like a thrusting tropical vine through the past, roping in sisters, wives, old lovers, boyhood adventures, and jealousies.”—Annie Proulx
  • “In this potent novella from Argentine writer Almada (Brickmakers), the killing of a stingray sets off a series of fateful events along an unnamed South American river. . . . Like a dream, this otherworldly tale lingers in the reader’s mind.”—Publishers Weekly
  • “The world we encounter here is full of its own rot, and a sense of suffocating entrapment is widespread. . . .Nevertheless, the author skillfully locates an insistent commitment to life and love in several of her characters—a stubborn strength that resists decay and affirms the worth of human bonds. Poignant storytelling about loss and resilience.”—Kirkus
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