|REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS||World Literature Today|
The journalist behind «La pluma de Dumbo», convinced that one day he will become a great writer, has to endure a caustic comment by his son about his father’s ‘great novel’, which never seems to arrive; in «Inodoro», an electrician falls asleep in the empty house where he is working and, on awakening, hears a girl with a seductive voice calling to him from the toilet; the young rubbish collector who appears in «Ultraje», abandoned by his wife, decides to turn his rubbish truck into a pirate ship. Also, among these and other short stories, there are three micro-novels: the story of an author of self-help books who destroys his emotional universe and ends up as a teacher in a hellish version of Boston; the tale of an executive at the World Bank who can only understand reality when it comes mediated by TV or e-mail; and that of a historian of private lives who, after spiritual death, reawakens as a chef. An excellent an imaginative novel that comes in the shape of a book of short stories. Álvaro Enrigue is among the most notable and sharpest of Mexican authors.
"Hipotermia gives us an unquiet author who travels with wisdom and a literary exploration of the dark zones of love, culture and the American fable” (Julio Patán, DF Travesías).
"A true surprise: stories of remarkable consistency and great originality" (J.A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia)
"Hipotermia can be read like a vertiginous book of short stories, or like an elegant novel, splendid, full of changing identities, disappearances, graphic sexual encounters, exploring the labyrinths of memory, anthropological rescues, philosophical confessions.... Here literature becomes just another protagonist, brave and momentous" (Horacio Ortiz, Milenio)
"Hipotermia is an excellent book, read story by story, or as a complete collection" (Eduardo San José, La Nueva España).
"Álvaro Enrigue explores the paradox of human solitude which, sooner or later we all face, from different angles and guises... a volume that, because of its vocal freedom could be considered a novel structured through stories" (Hoja por hoja).
"It’s as thrilling to encounter writing this good and original as it is terrifying to be confronted with Enrigue’s grim, unflinching gaze towards 21st-century life and the immigrant experience... Ruthless and thrilling, hilarious and disturbing, this book stares death and the abyss straight in the face and refuses to offer any false comforts—only literature at its bravest and most uncompromising." (Julianne Pachico, Litro).
Álvaro Enrigue was born in Mexico City in 1969. He has been a Literature and a Creative Writing professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana and the University of Maryland respectively. Since 1990 he has been devoted to literary criticism, and has published his articles in several Mexican and Spanish media. He has also been actively involved in various editorial activities: not only he has been a literary editor at institutions as reputable as the Fondo de Cultura Económica and the National Council for Culture and Arts, but he has also edited and contributed to the prestigious Letras Libres magazine. His novel La muerte de un instalador (The Death of a Plumber) was awarded the renowned Joaquín Mortiz Novel Prize in 1996. In Anagrama he has published Hipotermia (Hypothermia) and Vidas perpendiculares (Perpendicular Lives). In 2011 Enrigue was selected by the New York Public Library as writer in residence for the years 2011 and 2012, together with Jonathan Safran Foer y James Fenton, after the publication in Mexico and Spain of Decency.