The Taiga Syndrome
Author: Cristina Rivera Garza
Translators: Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana
Publisher: Dorothy, a publishing project (2018)
Translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana. A fairy tale run amok, The Taiga Syndrome follows an unnamed female Ex-Detective as she searches for a couple who has fled to the far reaches of the earth. A betrayed husband is convinced by a brief telegram that his second ex-wife wants him to track her down and that she wants to be found. He hires the Ex-Detective, who sets out with a translator into a snowy, hostile forest where strange things happen and translation betrays both sense and one's senses. Tales of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood haunt the Ex-Detective's quest, though the lessons of her journey are more experiential than moral: that just as love can fly away, sometimes unloving flies away as well. That sometimes leaving everything behind is the only thing left to do.
“[T]here is no one writing novels as phantasmagorically exquisite as Cristina Rivera Garza’s. The Taiga Syndrome, which is both quietly poetic and narratively unhinged, is a crucial addition to her distinguished oeuvre.”
Winner of the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award