Die, My Love

Ariana Harwicz

Charco Press, 2017

  • Longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2018
  • Shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2018
  • Shortlisted for the Premio Valle Inclán 2018
  • Shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award 2020

“Rural France is the backdrop for this stark tale, translated from Spanish by Sarah Moses and Carolina Orloff, of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by marriage and motherhood. Argentinian Ariana Harwicz’s unnamed narrator, a ‘fraud of a country woman’, has followed her idealistic husband out into the sticks, where she does daily battle with loneliness, boredom and the ‘constant clucking and grousing’ of the baby she never really wanted. Other heroines might have turned inward; this one goes on the attack, torturing insects and sleeping with a neighbour as she rages against the limits of acceptability: ‘I’m a mother, full stop. And I regret it, but I can’t even say that.’ There’s a touch of David Lynch to the best moments, such as when she peers dreamily through the window as her child crawls into the fireplace. The lack of character names and sporadic perspective shifts don’t make this an easy read – but then, it isn’t meant to be. ‘A breath of irrationality had set fire to my existence,’ she says, and you can’t help watching through the glass as it burns.” – Peter Beech, The Guardian