Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs
Lina Wolff, Frank Perry
This brilliant translation by Frank Perry won the 2017 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize and the 2019 Bernard Shaw prize
At a run-down brothel in Caudal, Spain, the prostitutes are collecting stray dogs. Each is named after a famous male writer: Dante, Chaucer, Bret Easton Ellis. When a john is cruel, the dogs are fed rotten meat. To the east, in Barcelona, an unflappable teenage girl is endeavouring to trace the peculiarities of her life back to one woman: Alba Cambo, writer of violent short stories, who left Caudal as a girl and never went back. Mordantly funny, dryly sensual, written with a staggering lightness of touch, the debut novel in English by Swedish sensation Lina Wolff is a black and Bolano-esque take on the limitations of love in a dog-eat-dog world.
‘Wolff’s prose has a quality of “otherness” entirely in keeping with the surreal atmosphere of the novel. This strange, provocative debut sits well alongside the work of Roxane Gay, Katherine Angel, Maggie Nelson, Zoe Pilger and Miranda July … a cool, clever and fierce addition to the canon of modern feminist literature.’ Sarah Perry, The Guardian ——- ‘[A] filmic offering … channelling the spirit of Pedro Almodovar. A thoroughly invigorating novel.’ Lucy Scholes, The Independent ——- ‘Oddly compelling … a European postmodern novel steeped in alienation and ennui.’ Library Journal ——- ‘The author demonstrates a marvelous command of language and creates characters with real depth, lending the book a sensual vibe and an acerbic wit that force its emotional truths to rise above the grunge of its hard-boiled setting. A poetic, unsentimental drama that offers a meditation on love in all its disparate forms.’ Kirkus Reviews ——- ‘Wolff has had enough of the big swinging dicks of masculine literature. [Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs is] clever and challenging and distinctive.’ Galen O’Hanlon, The Skinny ——- ‘Wolff manoeuvres with great skill through her breathtaking multitude of worlds and an equally impressive cast of characters. Bret Easton Ellis … takes the reader on a roller-coaster from the tragic to the comical, with hints of the mysterious and magical scattered in between – it is a testimonial of a dead person remarkably full of life.’ The Bookbag, 5 Stars, January Book of the Month ——- ‘A book that you just want to give people and say: take a look at this, read it, experience it. I would have liked to devote the entire review to quoting sentences and paragraphs from the novel – it is almost as if that were the only way of adequately conveying the gravity, depth and lightness of Lina Wolff’s prose, her tender yet pitiless character descriptions, her distinctive but also natural way of piecing together the novel’s disparate parts into a shimmering whole.’ Eva Johansson, Svenska Dagbladet
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