The Winterlings by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade

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Packed with sly wit, enchanting snippets of Flannery O’Connor-styled gothic fantasy and period rural detail, Sanchez-Andrade’s novel is a captivating read.
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Synopsis

“Cristina-Sánchez-Andrade is, simply, one of the best writers in Spain.... A flawless and unusual novel.” —El Correo Gallego

Galicia, Spain’s northwest region, in the 1950s. After a childhood in exile, two sisters return to their grandfather’s cottage for the first time since his shocking murder during the civil war. “The Winterlings” try to keep their dark secrets buried in Tierra de Chá, an idyllic village host to a cast of grotesque but charming characters: a powerful psychic, a woman who refuses to die and the obese priest who heaves up a steep hill each day to give her last rites, a cross-dressing dentist who plants the teeth of the deceased in his patients’ mouths.

Tension mounts when the sisters, once united by their passion for Hollywood cinema, compete for the chance to stand in for Ava Gardner in the nearby filming of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. Meanwhile, suspicion seeps in: Why have the women returned, and what are they hiding? What perverse business arrangement did the townspeople make with their grandfather, and why won’t they speak of his death?

Enchanting as a spell, The Winterlings blends Spanish oral tradition, Latin American magic realism, and the American gothic fiction of Flannery O’Connor and Shirley Jackson into an intoxicating story of romance, violent history, and the mysterious forces that move us.

About the Author and Translator

Cristina Sánchez-Andrade is the author of eight novels. She has won the Guadalajara International Book Fair’s prestigious Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz literary prize, and The Winterlings was a finalist for the Herralde Novel Prize in 2013. She lives in Madrid.

Samuel Rutter is an Australian writer and translator. His translation of The Winterlings received a PEN Translates grant in 2015. He is a PhD candidate in Spanish at the University of Melbourne and is currently in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Vanderbilt University.
 

About Cristina Sánchez-Andrade

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Cristina Sánchez-Andrade (Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 1968) is the author of eight novels, including Ya no pisa la tierra tu rey (Your King No Longer Walks this Earth), which won the Guadalajara International Book Fair’s prestigious Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz literary prize in 2005, and Las Inviernas (The Winterlings), which was a finalist for the Herralde Novel Prize in 2013. Her work has been translated into English, Portuguese, Italian, Polish and Russian. She lives in Madrid.Samuel Rutter is a writer and translator from Melbourne, Australia. His work can be found in journals such as Overland and Meanjin and his translation of Cristina Sánchez-Andrade's novel The Winterlings received a PEN Translates grant in 2015. With a special interest in the fiction of the Cono Sur region of Latin America, he has translated contemporary authors including Hernán Ronsino, Matías Celedón, Carlos Labbé, and Selva Almada. Currently a PhD candidate in Spanish at the University of Melbourne, in 2016 he will undertake an MFA in Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University.
 
Published November 1, 2016 by Restless Books. 210 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Reviewed by Bill Sherman on Jan 16 2018

Packed with sly wit, enchanting snippets of Flannery O’Connor-styled gothic fantasy and period rural detail, Sanchez-Andrade’s novel is a captivating read.

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