Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Winterlings' by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade and translated by Samuel Rutter

The village of Tierra de Chá in Cristina Sánchez-Andrade’s novel The Winterlings feels a bit like Gabriel García Márquez’s Macondo, without the magic realism. It is a small community riddled with family secrets, desiccated aspirations, incest, and regrets. Located in Galicia, in north-western Spain, Tierra de Chá is full of succulent characters. There is Little Ramón, the sailor who was breastfed until the age of twelve. Mr Tenderlove makes a living as a ‘dental mechanic’, fashioning dentures from the teeth of cadavers, and dresses in drag in the privacy of his boudoir. There once was a lunatic who used to believe he was a chicken, and did so with such fervour that he started laying eggs, but no one knows where he is anymore.

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Published in December 2016, no. 387

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