“There’s a lot to like—and laugh at—here, especially riffs on the awfulness of Meg Ryan movies.” — Publishers Weekly
“Santiago Roncagliolo is one of the writers of my generation I most admire. He is rigorous, fearless, and funny, with a keen eye for absurdity embedded within the everyday. A new book by Roncagliolo is a cause for celebration.” — Daniel Alarcón
Independent Foreign Fiction Prize–winner and Granta “Best Young Spanish-Language Author” Santiago Roncagliolo returns with his acclaimed translator Edith Grossman with a raucous phone sex novella and three dark, entrancing stories.
Told entirely in dialog, Hi, This Is Conchita is a virtuosic comic novella about men pushed past their breaking point—and the women who drive them crazy. Peru’s heir to the incisive social literature of Mario Vargas Llosa weaves a complex tale of an office worker hiring a hitman to kill his mistress, a man leaving feverish messages on his beloved’s answering machine, and a phone sex worker whose client is literally crazy about her.
The three stories that follow reveal Roncagliolo’s masterful range. “Despoiler” is the claustrophobic tale of a Carnival in Barcelona that brings one middle-aged woman face-to-face to her childhood demons. “Butterflies Fastened with Pins” is the perversely comic account of a man whose friends keep killing themselves. And “The Passenger Beside You” is a surreal story narrated by a woman with a gaping bullet wound right through her heart.
More Praise for Hi, This Is Conchita:
“Roncagliolo is an incredibly gifted storyteller who is able to execute many writing styles. . . . Roncagliolo reminds us that, although we are isolated by default, we are all connected to each other in some way.” — Three Percent
“Roncagliolo has a nice, sure touch throughout. . . . It’s a nice little collection, with some sly dark humor, and makes for an entertaining read.” — The Complete Review
“Ultimately, Hi, This Is Conchita resolves its proceedings in a way both satisfying and unpredictable, all the while keeping the reader engaged. . . . Readers curious about contemporary European lit, or who have a penchant for formal experimentation, or who are just looking to read something a bit different, may well find themselves taken by Roncagliolo’s playful nonconformity.” — PopMatters
“In an age where the isolating effects of social media are continuously analyzed, the short story collection Hi, This is Conchita by Peruvian writer Santiago Roncagliolo offers an encompassing view of the ways we become detached from intimacy and the painful, misguided ways in which we attempt to retrieve it. . . . The collection . . . highlights Roncagliolo’s literary virtuosity.” — Tottenville Review
Santiago Roncagliolo is a Peruvian novelist and investigative journalist. His first novel, Red April, won the Premio Alfaguara in 2006 and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2011. In 2010 Granta named him one of its 22 Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists. He contributes to El País and other leading Spanish-language newspapers.
Edith Grossman is one of the English-language’s most renowned translators, having translated key works by Nobel laureates Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa. Her translation of Don Quixote was praised by Harold Bloom for “the extraordinarily high quality of her prose.”