Ana Cecilia Alvarez

  • Season of the Witch

    While working as a journalist in Veracruz, Fernanda Melchor came across a report of a body found in a ditch outside a small village. A detail stood out: The victim was a known witch, and the suspect, a former lover, took his revenge when he realized the Witch had cast a spell for him to return. Melchor became fascinated with the story. At first she imagined writing a Capote-esque work of nonfiction about the crime informed by interviews with the suspect and the village’s residents, an In Cold Blood set in Mexico. But in Veracruz, a journalist asking too many questions draws the wrong kind of

  • culture March 19, 2019

    Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis

    You could describe Chloe Aridjis’s first two novels as mood pieces. Both have a Sebaldian preoccupation with the ways we are haunted by history; both are, as she has put it, “somehow impregnated or overcast with the weight of the past.” Her narrators—one, in Book of Clouds, a Mexican Jew living in self-imposed exile in Berlin, the other, in Asunder, a museum guard idling over London’s National Gallery—are withdrawn and perceptive. They occupy spaces palpitating with the past, with a violence barely glazed over by time, still detectable to those with the wit to pay attention. In Book of Clouds