Argentinian author Samantha Schweblin’s novel Fever Dream was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017 and now her latest book, a short story collection (her debut collection in English) called Mouthful of Birds, has made the longlist for 2019.
I have intended to cover Mouthful of Birds on Sublime Horror, and I hope the opportunity to speak with Schweblin later in the year presents itself. For now, with the announcement of the Booker International longlist, I hope this short update suffices and prompts you to buy a copy of her book.
Samantha Schweblin is, for me, one of the most exciting authors working today. She epitomises everything I wished to devote special attention to here on Sublime Horror: sublime literary horror.
Her writing, especially concerning her latest collection, is surreal, unsettling, and genre-blending. The title of her most recent collection, Mouthful of Birds, says a lot about the style she achieves. There are two competing impressions conjured – beauty and elegance (“birds”) and the horrific and ugly (a “mouthful of birds”). Schweblin’s writing does the same, where the beautiful and the artful emerge from a very dark and ugly place.
She is sharing the stage with some incredible names, such as Olga Tokarczuk (whose brilliant Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead I rate very highly), Marion Poschmann, Hubert Mingarelli, and Annie Ernaux.
Whilst Schweblin won’t be filed under “Horror” in your local bookstore, she represents the pinnacle of what the best horror (whatever the medium) can achieve and we hope she takes the award at this year’s prize.
Mouthful of Birds by Samantha Schweblin is published by Oneworld. Buying the book here will support Sublime Horror.