by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade
Translated from the Spanish by Samuel Rutter
“Cristina-Sánchez-Andrade is, simply, one of the best writers in Spain. Her language is vastly rich. A memorable narration. A flawless and unusual novel.”
—El Correo Gallego
Paperback List Price: $16.99 • ISBN: 9781632061096 • Publication: 11/1/16 • 240 pages • Fiction: Gothic / Literary / Historical—Spanish Civil War • Territory: North America • eBook ISBN: 9781632061102
About the Book
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 and carve out a peaceful existence in Tierra de Chá, an idyllic village host to a cast of grotesque but charming characters: a powerful psychic, a madman who believes he is a bus, 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, a mutual suspicion develops between the mysterious sisters and the eccentric villagers: 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.
“The Winterlings reads like poetry and is filled with sly, sensuous charm and everyday magic…. [it] blends Old World oral storytelling tradition, elements of magical realism, and hints of American gothic style and has been carefully translated from the original Spanish. Though the story is slow in unfolding, readers who appreciate beautiful prose will enjoy the novel’s sleepy-town setting, colorful characters, and strange happenings.“
—Emily Brock, Booklist
“Every month I’m confronted by at least a few titles that catch me with my proverbial pants down. The Winterlings was one of these, somehow balancing the blunt and the sentimental, making you feel all the feels despite your best intentions, and captivating from beginning to end.”
—M. Bartley Seigel, Words Without Borders
“[The Winterlings] satisfies on multiple levels, uses a wide lens to observe the difficulties of returning home only to encounter a community still pickled in the past…..Sánchez-Andrade keeps it real…. She references an oral storytelling tradition in the family passed down through her aunts, and she thanks her mother for helping her search for family memories. Chekov famously told writers that if they hang a rifle on a wall in chapter one, the rifle must go off in chapter two or three. That Sánchez-Andrade deliciously substitutes an octopus for a rifle says something for her ingenious novel, full of eccentric details that anchor it to a very specific reality.”
—Priyanka Kumar, Santa Fe New Mexica
“Remember this name: Cristina Sánchez-Andrade. She is, without question, one of the most powerful female voices Spanish literature has produced.”
“The Winterlings possesses an elegant, clear and direct prose that smoothly grabs the reader’s sensitivity, one that also manages to be blunt and acid…. A marvelous narrator and writer.”
“The author reveals a narrative ability very rare to find…. A perfectly well balanced mixture of tenderness and ferocity…. Everything is narrated with extreme sensitivity, with a surprising style, at the crossroads between lyricism, pure narrative and humour.”
“Cristina Sánchez-Andrade offers us a delightful story with traces of the great classics of Spanish literature, skillfully combining fiction and historical facts (…). The rationing of intrigue is excellent, enriched by a subtle and witty sense of humour. The Winter Women become two characters both perverse and intimate that will stay with the reader long after they finish reading.”
“Even though it may seem so, this is not a novel about the Civil War. Nor is it a historical novel, nor a female novel. It’s a book that is both beautiful and explosive, in which Sánchez-Andrade recovers not only the themes already found in her previous novels but also widens and deepens her very own voice. Praised by critics… she delves into the issues of identity and the right to become a duplicate of one’s deepest desire.”
“The most beautiful book I’ve ever read…. While I was reading it... a feeling of unrivalled beauty got me. Now, three weeks after finishing the novel, The Winterlings is still in my heart.”
“Something radically new in Spanish literature, original and unusual.”
“A genuine Galician Macondo.”
“The Winterlings is possibly one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
“It’s the language, the style, the characters and the descriptions that make The Winterlings shine in the Spanish literary landscape.”
About the Author
Cristina Sánchez-Andrade (Santiago de Compostela, 1968) has degrees in Law and Mass Media. She is a writer and translator, and she collaborates in various Spanish newspapers and literary magazines as a critic and book reviewer. She is also the coordinator of several narrative workshops. She is the author of the novels Las lagartijas huelen a hierba (Lengua de Trapo, 1999), Bueyes y rosas dormían (Siruela, 2001), Ya no pisa la tierra tu rey (Anagrama, Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 2004), Alas (Trama Editorial, 2005), Coco (2007), Los escarpines de Kristina de Noruega (Roca Editorial, 2011, finalist to Premio Espartaco de Novela Histórica), El libro de Julieta (Grijalbo, 2011), and Las Inviernas (The Winterlings, Anagrama, 2014). Her work has been translated into English, Portuguese, Italian, Polish and Russian.
About the Translator
Samuel Rutter is a writer and translator based in Melbourne, Australia. A contributing editor to the journal Higher Arc, he is currently completing his PhD in Post-millennial Fiction from the Southern Cone of Latin America at the University of Melbourne. This year, he is a visiting researcher at the Instituto de Letras Hispanoamericanas at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.