Fernando Flores Recommends 5 Books by Women
The author of "Tears of the Trufflepig" on recent favorite reads that aren't by men
Sometimes absurdist fiction is the only way to reflect on absurd times. The trippy alternate-universe Texas of Fernando Flores’s The Tears of the Trufflepig is strange, dreamlike, and darkly funny, but it’s also a commentary on immigration, mass extinction, late capitalism, and cultures on the margin. It’s been compared to Margaret Atwood, Hunter S. Thompson, and Warren Ellis. And, like Warren Ellis, Flores has collected five books by non-men he enjoyed and recommends.
Read More Women is Electric Literature’s series, presented in collaboration with MCD Books, in which we feature prominent authors, of any gender, recommending their favorite books by women and non-binary writers. Twice a month, you’ll hear about the five non-male authors who most delight, inspire, and influence your favorite writers.
Iphigenia by Teresa de la Parra
This Venezuelan classic from the early 20th Century, influenced, no doubt, by the works of Jane Austen, is also a heavy critique on society, the roles women were expected to fulfill, and the government in Caracas as the time. De la Parra’s scope is wide; she creates poetic atmospheres, and unforgettable characters like her grandmother and uncle.
Angel by Elizabeth Taylor
Since I read this about three years ago I think about the titular character, Angelica Deverell, at least once a week, as if she were a real person who once walked this earth, writing books. I am at once shocked and, against my better judgment, wholly impressed by her. It leads me to think about novelist Elizabeth Taylor—what could possibly have driven her to write a book like this? Whatever it was, I will defend this book until my dying day.
American Fictionary by Dubravka Ugrešić
Ugrešić is one of the most loyal chroniclers of our crumbling world. When she wins the Nobel Prize, those who have read this cutting, humorous, and ultimately beautiful account, will not be surprised. I think about this line a lot: “Open letters are a wartime genre, a genre of extreme despair, envisaged as a public denunciation of another, but in practice a public declaration of one’s own feelings.”
Positions with White Roses by Ursule Molinaro
A few of you out there should read this and let me know if this is a masterpiece. Molinaro does something truly macabre and fascinating with the novel here. By the end of it I felt I’d read the story Carson McCullers’s evil twin would have written. Molinaro’s books are hard to find, and her body of work needs a closer look.
The Woman with the Flying Head by Kurahashi Yumiko
The first story in this collection, “An Extraterrestrial,” is one of those stories that there is absolutely nothing like, that takes the narrative as far as it can possibly go, then farther, until that very unique, stunning conclusion. Somebody needs to please make this more accessible, and translate her other works.