The Body Where I Was Born: a novel

The Body Where I Was Born: a novel

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by Guadalupe Nettel


“I was born with a white spot, or what others call a birthmark, on the cornea of my right eye. That spot would have been entirely insignificant if it hadn’t been right in the center of my iris.”

So begins Guadalupe Nettel’s exquisite novel based on her memories of growing up in Mexico in the seventies, with a birth defect in her eye and a family intent on fixing it. From a psychoanalyst’s couch the narrator looks back on her bizarre childhood, having somehow survived the emotional havoc she went through. And survive she did, but not unscathed.

In the intimate and delicately crafted narrative echoes the tender voice of the narrator’s younger self, a sharp, sensitive girl infinitely more damaged by the deformities life inflicted upon her than by her birth defect.

The novel’s perfectly bare language and its smart humor, both delicate and unafraid, weave together a strand of touching, sometimes painful, sometimes delightful moments in the narrator’s unconventional childhood that crushed her, scarred her, mended her, tore her apart and made her whole. With this novel Guadalupe Nettel confirms what the critics have celebrated since her literary debut: she is one of the decade’s revelations of the Spanish language.


Shortlisted - 2016 Neustadt Prize

Longlisted - 2016 Best Translated Book Award 


Praise for The Body Where I Was Born

One of the fascinating qualities of this book is the unsparing testimony, somewhere between religious confession and secular disclosure, that gives a sharp sense of a woman’s harrowing girlhood.

Book details
FORMAT: Paperback
EXTENT: 208 pages
SIZE: 198 x 128 mm
ISBN: 9781742586830
RIGHTS: Australia and New Zealand
CATEGORY: FictionGuadalupe Nettel,