Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro (tr. Frances Riddle)

a nutshell: over the course of a single day, an elderly Argentinian woman’s gruelling (and gripping) pursuit of answers about her daughter’s death leads to a revelation she never sought

a line: “Are you your brain, which keeps sending out orders that won’t be followed? Or are you the thought itself, something that can’t be seen or touched beyond that furrowed organ guarded inside the cranium like a trove?”

an image: the depiction of Elena’s deaf body – owing to late-stage Parkinson’s disease – surrounded by deaf ears was one that stuck with me, conjuring the somewhat overwhelming and oppressive notion of feeling ignored both internally and externally

a thought: yes this book delves into what it means to have control over our bodies, but it also goes deeper – powerfully exploring forces of control over our minds and the disasters that can ensue from thinking we Know when in fact we merely Believe

a fact: at the end of 2020, Argentina’s Congress legalised abortion (catalysed by the mighty ‘green wave’ women’s movement), marking an historic step forward in a region where termination laws are among the world’s most restrictive

want to read Elena Knows? visit here

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