A young woman arrives at her house and discovers that her partner has left. She decides to wait for her, obeying the commanding mandate that the relationship itself has imposed: to drink a lot of water and not to eat. They share anorexia as a common good, as a way of being in life, and a youthful game.
As the hours go by, the silence begins to fill with voices: those of the world and those of her head, the voices of her mother and her grandmother, who tell her about her childhood in a sugarcane town on the river bank.
Autofagia brings us closer to a world of absences, to a nebulous present that seems to devour itself. In the third novel by Alaíde Ventura Medina, the formal beauty and great agility of a language that uses a cascading narrative, and very short sentences, in which in a few words all kinds of thoughts, ideas, memories are expressed is contrasted by the hyper-realistic description of the absolute crisis experienced by the young protagonist and the madness of anorexia. The novel is also an intelligent and crude vision of the misery of some areas of Mexico by one of the most interesting narrators in the Spanish language.
102 pages – Original language: Spanish World (Penguin Random House, 2023)
“What a great book Alaíde Ventura Medina has written! We enter the body and the territory with the intention of questioning everything. Just like its protagonist, Autophagy is fragile, silent, and relentless.” – Cristina Rivera Garza
“In Autophagy we witness the fear and desire of a vulnerable body that tries to scrutinize present and past… An impeccable novel about the precariousness of the body, family ties and the resilience of women.” – Sylvia Aguilar Zeleny
“The most outstanding trait in Alaíde Ventura’s writing is its elegance. In Autophagy, Alaíde manages to make a portrait of Mexico, from the intimacy of a tremendous love story.” – Julián Herbert