If good horror writing illuminates the world around us, then Mariana Enriquez’s new book, Things We Lost In The Fire, is a floodlight, using the supernatural to expose in stark relief the hard, very real conversations we all avoid.
"Most of the stories are horror stories," explains Enriquez, "but I try to make very atmospheric, dreary stories that mix with politics and the social climate of my city Buenos Aires," says Enriquez.
Things We Lost In The Fire is a collection of 12 short stories, each populated with ghosts, haunted houses, and other supernatural phenomena to explore violence, poverty, history, and women.
Throughout the collection, Enriquez’s stories range the gamut from ordinary to surreal. One story, for instance, follows a woman who takes her disappointing husband to meet her family for the first time, while another is about an ex-social worker who may or may not be seeing ghosts of neglected children in her neighbor’s yard. The book culminates with the title story "Things We Lost In The Fire," which follows a group of women who begin burning themselves in giant bonfires to take control of their own pain.
"Burnings are the work of men," Enriquez writes. "They have always burned us. Now we are burning ourselves. But we’re not going to die; we’re going to flaunt our scars."
The result is a collection that is both a rich look into the past and how history continually shapes the present, as well as a searing feminist statement about the world around us.
Join us this week on the MashReads Podcast as we discuss horror, feminism, short stories, and Things We Lost In The Fire.
And as always, we close the show with recommendations:
Mariana recommends Canada by Richard Ford.
Aliza recommends Season 2 of Netflix’s show Sense8. "That show just keeps getting better and better. I love everything about it, I love everyone in it. I was talking with people in the office about how it’s queer sci-fi."
Peter recommends the video game Nier Automata. "It’s an extraordinarily philosophical game … and it’s also a hell of a lot of fun to play."
MJ recommends "Sally Yates is Queen of the Constitution Clapback," a new piece by Elle writer R. Eric Thomas. "It is gold. I don’t want to spoil it, I will just say I was laughing out loud at my desk [as I read]."
We hope you’ll join us next week as we talk about Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. And if you’re looking for even more book news, don’t forget to follow MashReads on Facebook and Twitter.