Permafrost by Eva Baltasar (tr. Julia Sanches)

a nutshell: written by a Catalan poet, this debut novel chases the erratic thoughts of a gay suicidal narrator as she flits from one place (or person) to another

a line: “We’d met by chance, and if there’s one thing I believe in, it’s chance. Despite the Herculean efforts of new religions to deny it, chance continues to exist”

an image: almost too many to choose from! I was especially moved by how the narrator describes doubt (fanned by her parents) as the first chink in the permafrost, that is, the thick layers of defence mechanisms she built to survive

a thought: perhaps contrary to expectations, this book manages to be both fiercely funny and emotively frail – I found it a compulsive read

a fact: in her illuminating afterword, Sanches notes that Baltasar’s story began as a prompt in a therapy session and spiralled into a fictional work from there, which sheds light on Permafrost‘s ‘searching’ quality

want to read Permafrost? visit here

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