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Our Share of Night by Mariana Enríquez review – political horror

Set in the decades during and after Argentina’s military dictatorship, this occult treatment of the ‘dirty war’ fuses political allegory and gleeful gore In 2017, Things We Lost in the Fire by Argentinian writer Mariana Enríquez introduced a compelling new voice to English readers. Tough-edged and tightly honed, her short stories inhabited the space between high gothic horror and cruel sociopolitical reality. At its best, her writing had a cool, brutal economy: We moved. My brother still went crazy. He killed himself at twenty-two. I was the one who identified his ruined body … He didn’t leave a note. He told me his dreams were always about Adela. In his dreams, our friend didn’t have fingernails or teeth; she was bleeding from the mouth, her hands bled. The dog wasn’t by the fountain or the pool, so he started checking for her around the trees. There were a lot of them in the park, and Gaspar would have liked to be able to identify them, to know which was a poplar, which was a loquat; he only recognised the pines. He wished they taught that kind of thing at school, instead of about fractions or single-celled organisms. He did well in school because it was easy, but he got bored, he always had. He read on his own: his father could be erratic and he could be scary, but he let Gaspar read whatever he wanted. ‘He … tied his hands and feet with the nylon cord that had been easy to buy without raising suspicion (“It’s for a package, I need a good strong one”), yet was impossible to break without great effort or the use of a knife. Continue reading...

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