Three books written by Ecuadorian authors that 'burn' like lava
From VolcáNica to Cockfight, going through Las Voladoras.
From gender, violence, and certain foreigners' conditions, some Ecuadorian female authors have made a place among the best Latin American literature. From fiction and non-fiction, these are some of the books that scratch, burn, hurt, and above all, inspire.
Winner of the Michael Jacobs Scholarship from the Foundation for the New Ibero-American Journalism, when Duque published VolcáNica in 2019, she revolutionized travel narrative by shedding light, in the style of Joan Didion, on the lights and shadows of Nicaraguan reality.
The title of this collection of superb chronicles alludes to both the volcanoes and the nickname given to its citizens. It takes us with a firm and literary pulse into the political complexity of the country and its no less magmatic geography, weaving together the stories about volcanoes told by the inhabitants of areas such as Nueva Guinea or Casita with descriptions of a Managua, the capital, which periodically receives the scourge of the Masaya. Also, the traces of Sandinismo in the country and its people, and the violence that shook the country and reminded the elderly. "In Somoza's time, being young was a crime. In Ortega's time, too," she writes.
Like lava, VolcáNica (Penguin Random House, 2019) covers every nook and cranny of the social, political, and cultural reality of a country that does not usually make the headlines of the major international newspapers.
The violence of all kinds - racial, economic, gender... - makes its way into this set of stories that fester like a badly healed wound. Cockfight (Feminist Press) is the debut in fiction of Ecuadorian Maria Fernanda Ampuero, who addresses family ties, power relations, silence, and abuse surrounding people whose brutality is so familiar that sometimes you can't help but notice that a monster lives in each of us.
With style as direct as Ampuero herself, so dark and evil that the pain jumps from the prose to the body, and a raincoat is needed to read her stories, Cockfight has received an excellent international reception making the writer one of the Latin American howlers to watch.
"The photos I always wanted to see are before my eyes and are more beautiful than I ever imagined. Being that eats the beings it has engendered. Mother feeding on her little ones," she writes. She devours.
A maximum exponent of the so-called "Andean Gothic," especially after the publication this year 2020 in Spain of the set of stories Las Voladoras (Páginas de Espuma), Ojeda swims comfortably between gore, sexuality, and the most carnal brutality and magic.
While in Nefando (Candaya, 2016), he told of the construction of a children's pornographic video game on the deep web, and in Jawbone (Coffeehouse Press, 2018), she placed us in the dark sex cults of a religious school for the elite, in Las Voladoras he reflects the oral tradition of the inhabitants of the Andes. Exploring the femicides in the Andean area in stories like "Cabeza voladora" or the belief in witches who smear their armpits with honey to fly in "Las Voladoras," a story that gives the title to the book.