Friday, October 01, 2010
The Cannibal of Guadalajara by David Winner
The Cannibal of Guadalajara is a refreshing dark comedy that centers around a middle aged divorcée named Margaret whose one night stand with a curiously troubled young Mexican-American named Dante leads to a wild emotional and geographical journey that stretches from the posh Upper East Side of Manhattan to Dante’s surreal familial estate in Guadalajara that is collapsing (literally and figuratively) under the weight of its nasty secrets. Along the way Margaret gets to know her ex-husband in the way she couldn’t during their long marriage and finds herself part of a family she never knew she had. Wildly imaginative, it paints a lush yet pointedly satirical portrait of New Yorkers in love and lust, baby boomers in mid-life misadventures, Gen-Xers in the grip of perennial childhood, and the aspirations that have led them all astray.
About the Author:
DAVID WINNER has received two Pushcart nominations and first prize in The Ledge’s 2003 Fiction Contest. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, Fiction, Confrontation, Cortland Review, Staple, Dream Catcher, Phantasmagori, KGB, and several other literary magazines in the USA and the UK. A film based on a short story of his was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007, and he’s the fiction editor of The American, a magazine based in Rome, Italy. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Reviews: “ a powerful tale of an unlikely ménage-à-trois…Winner’s controlled language is interspersed with adroitly incongruous adjectives that illuminate the absurdities he presents in ways that are psychologically subtle and often hilarious. But it’s also a book about American culture seen through the eyes of a writer who has spent enough time traveling through Latin America to alter his frame of cultural reference enough to identify and appraise that peculiar brand of American expatriate whose most ardent wish is to be reborn as Che Guevara...."
--Andrea Scrima, The Brooklyn Rail: Critical Perspectives on Arts, Politics, and Culture
"Families come in all shapes and sizes; sometimes they sneak up on us fully formed. This is what happens to Margaret Heller after her divorce.... Winner, who won the Gival Press Novel Award, writes with great cunning and precision... Winner transforms embarrassing moments into the briefest of epiphanies. Margaret, Dante and Alfred are as human as they possibly can be."
— Andi Diehn, Debut Fiction ForeSight Feature (May/June 2010), ForeWord Reviews
"Is this about ruptured families and their reframing? About Latin and North America commingling by way of Manhattan and Mexico, in a mess of nightmare and dream? Or have we a fine and bumpy ride, comic and yet catch-in-the-throat, through the surprises of sex and romance in a hitherto undemonstrative woman now nearing 60? The answer, as you’d expect in a thwacking sweetheart of a novel, is all the above…"
— John Domini, judge and author of A Tomb on the Periphery
"David Winner’s The Cannibal of Guadalajara is a terrific novel. It is high comedy–both sharp and sympathetic in its precise description of attitudes and manners—and painfully funny in its well-timed outbursts. And yet another aspect I admire—the range of age of the characters. Winner can do smart (though occasionally foolish) middle-aged female, difficult young guy, even more difficult old guy as well as a host of minor characters from scampering children to a crusted octogenarian."
— John Casey
"…a devilishly delicious and disorienting novel. Food, sex, ghastly travel experiences, tantrums, Cannibal has it all, along with one of the most peculiar versions of the family triad in literary years."
— Joy Williams
“David Winner has a clear bright eye and as fine an ear for what is poignant as for what is absurd. I look for more of his profane comic sense.”
— Shirley Hazzard
Fact Sheet for The Cannibal of Guadalajara
Gival Press, Arlington, VA
Available through Ingram from BookMasters, Amazon.com, & other outlets.
Click here for the Amazon.com link:
Buy it at Amazon.com