On her birthday, a mother argues with her eldest daughter over some teabags. The daughter leaves the house with a slam of the door. It is the last time they see each other. A few days later, the mother throws herself out of the window of a hotel in central Buenos Aires.
This book is both a literary and a visceral exploration of her suicide. More than asking herself why, the daughter-narrator gives us both the before and after, reactions both inside and outside the family, the fabric of relationships, the idea of love, the trauma and the coping strategies. In a world where appearances are paramount, conventions are widely accepted, women live and suffer while men seem to circulate like ghosts. It’s a world in which what was long seen from one perspective is now seen from another, through the prism of that chaotic, premeditated act that nobody saw coming.
A novel tackling a topic that is taboo both in everyday life and in literature: a parent’s suicide, their motives, how their children handle their grief and try to understand why. The author said: “All I narrate in Personal Effects is true. But it has nothing to do with reality as it happened”.
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“Efectos personales belongs to the lineage of books dealing with pain […] with which we can even laugh. […] A playful and free text, a story full of life about death.” Mauro Libertella
“Efectos personales is fiction, it is autobiography and it is also poetry and essay. It is a poignant and loving book, a literary expedition into the ultimate questions of life and death.” Hinde Pomeraniec, Infobae Cultura
“An autobiographical story, perhaps a biographical essay, also a novel with a strong poetic discourse. […] A novel about death, but also about love [that] delves into the value of personal ties in the face of tragedy.” Josefina Marcuzzi, Telam
“A precious, powerful, lucid work. It is and will be the book of the year.” Radio Kamikaze
“It is not a dark book. It’s strong, honest, poetic.” Guadalupe Colombo-Paz, Fundación IPA
“Marina’s voice is intimate, visceral and at times heartbreaking.” Inés Busquets, APU
“Raw, distant and strange. I cried both times I read it. It is a fighter of a book, tremendous!” Santiago Llach, El Diario
“A prose like a moving, touching and even amusing musical score.” Clarín
240 pages – Original language: Spanish (Planeta Emecé, Argentina, 2022). Foreign Editions: UK English (Selkies House, United Kingdom, 2025)