Translated By KIMI TRAUBE
“The literature of Juan Villoro…is opening up the path of the new Spanish novel of the millennium.” Roberto Bolano
The Guilty is a brilliant, prize-winning collection of stories by one of Mexico’s most important living writers. From the semiotics of pet iguanas to the disillusionment of mariachi singers, Villoro reveals the deep dissatisfactions and absurdities of life in Mexico and its carnivalesque capital. We encounter a border trucker making a movie about illegal migrants, a cuckolded football superstar, and a gluten-free American journalist seeking the authentic Mexican experience. A master of the postmodern narrative, Villoro gives us contemporary Mexico through a complex interplay of culture and psychology in the most surprising, fresh and humorous ways.
"Villoro’s point, punctuated by each of the stories in this powerful book, is that modern Mexico is finished, finally, trying to conform to outside notions of its tragedies."
"At last an English translation brings his seriously funny take on identity to new audiences."
– The Los Angeles Book Review
"Villoro expertly places the personal dramas of his characters within a recent context of unprecedented cartel violence and government corruption without sacrificing his keen sense of humor. Like his Mexican compatriots Valeria Luiselli and Enrique Vila-Matas as well as such U.S. writers as Kirstin Valdez Quade and Luis Alberto Urrea, Villoro rewards readers with refreshing, unforgettable stories."
"Mexico is constantly derided for its violence and corruption; the government, the political process, the police force and drug cartels, all rife and seemingly in cahoots or, perhaps worse, in conflict. This is not something lost on its inhabitants. It faces them every day when they open their eyes. A gritty and absurd fatalism is abundant in the humor of Mexican literature. This might come from the seemingly endless contradictions their homeland contains, a complexity of contemporary life impossible to ignore and, incidentally, who would want to? The Guilty, Juan Villoro’s incredibly compelling short story collection, displays these complexities to a thrilling degree. The writing is razor sharp, the satire brilliant and biting. There is hope. There is misery. There is optimism shaded by fatalism. You see? Everything is complex."