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Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and Percival Everett's Telephone has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

The Wind That Lays Waste

A Novel
Selva Almada, Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews
The Wind That Lays Waste begins in the great pause before a storm. Reverend Pearson is evangelizing across the Argentinian countryside with Leni, his teenage daughter, when their car breaks down. This act of God or fate leads them to the workshop and home of an aging mechanic called Gringo Brauer and a young boy named Tapioca.

As a long day passes, curiosity and intrigue transform into an unexpected intimacy between four people: one man who believes deeply in God, morality, and his own righteousness, and another whose life experiences have only entrenched his moral relativism and mild apathy; a quietly earnest and idealistic mechanic’s assistant, and a restless, skeptical preacher’s daughter. As tensions between these characters ebb and flow, beliefs are questioned and allegiances are tested, until finally the growing storm breaks over the plains.

Selva Almada’s exquisitely crafted debut, with its limpid and confident prose, is profound and poetic, a tactile experience of the mountain, the sun, the squat trees, the broken cars, the sweat-stained shirts, and the destroyed lives. The Wind That Lays Waste is a philosophical, beautiful, and powerfully distinctive novel that marks the arrival in English of an author whose talent and poise is undeniable.

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A taut, lyrical portrait of four people thrown together on a single day in rural Argentina

About the Author

Selva  Almada
Credit: Agustina Fernández
Selva Almada is the author of The Wind That Lays Waste and Dead Girls. She is considered one of the most potent literary voices in Argentina and Latin America and one of the region’s most influential feminist intellectuals. 
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Chris Andrews was born in Newcastle, Australia, in 1962. He is the translator of Selva Almada’s novel, The Wind That Lays Waste, and has also translated books by Roberto Bolaño and César Aira. He teaches at the University of Western Sydney, where he is a member of the Writing and Society Research Center.
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  • “Almada’s nuanced approach leaves room to explore her characters’ pasts in some detail, but, crucially, these individuals . . . are not defined by their mistakes.”Zyzzyva
  • “A dynamic introduction to a major Latin American literary force.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review
  • “The drama of this refreshingly unpredictable debut, . . . smolders like a lit fuse waiting to touch off its well-orchestrated events. . . . A stimulating, heady story.”Publishers Weekly
  • “Almada weaves together a quick and tightly told novel. . . . Capturing the soul of rural South America, a place of longstanding truths and pivotal conversions,  [The Wind That Lays Waste] is Almada's debut novel and her first work to be translated into English. She's been billed as a ‘promising voice’ in Latin American literature, and this tale delivers readily on that promise.”Booklist
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