“There’s a lot to like—and laugh at—here, especially riffs on the awfulness of Meg Ryan movies.” — Publishers Weekly
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:
Excerpted in The Coffin Factory and Storyville
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.”