Dolly City

by Orly Castel-Bloom

Paperback: 167 pages
Published by DALKEY ARCHIVE PR (October 5, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1564786102
ISBN-13: 978-1564786104

This strange and searing novel (after Human Parts) follows the exploits of Doctor Dolly as she traverses a nightmarish Tel Aviv–like metropolis known as Dolly City. Her University of Katmandu medical training not recognized in Israel, Dolly is unable to legally practice medicine and instead experiments in her home lab on animals she infects with diseases of her own invention. But when Dolly finds an abandoned baby wrapped in a plastic bag, her maternal urges are unexpectedly awakened, and as she grows more and more obsessed with her son—whom she names Son—she succumbs to a madness manifesting itself as fanatical concern with Son’s health and the conviction that cancer is everywhere. Dolly’s agitated mind increasingly parallels the deterioration of Dolly City, „the most demented city in the world,“ besieged by „Arabophobia“ from within and French air raids from without. This parable about motherhood, nationhood, and the intersection of the two is never less than gripping, though its insistence on the graphic depiction of life in a war zone—whether private or public—sometimes makes it tempting to look away.


Orly Castel-Bloom is an Israeli author, born in north Tel Aviv in 1960 to a family of Egyptian Jews. She studied film at the Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts in Ramat Gan. Castel-Bloom’s first collection of short stories, Not Far from the Center of Town, was published in 1987 by Am Oved. She is the author of eleven books, including collections of short fiction and novels. Her 1992 novel Dolly City has been included in the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, and in 1999 she was named one of the fifty most influential women in Israel. Castel-Bloom has won the Prime Minister’s award twice, the Tel Aviv award for fiction and was nominated for the Sapir Prize for Literature.


Dalya Bilu is the translator of A.B. Yehoshua, Aharon Appelfeld, and many others. She has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Israel Culture and Education Ministry Prize for Translation and the Jewish Book Council Award for Hebrew-English Translation. She lives in Jerusalem.

Sudden Death

by Álvaro Enrigue

Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 9, 2016 by Riverhead Books (first published January 1, 2013)
Original Title: Muerte súbita
ISBN: 1594633460
ISBN13: 9781594633461

Buy now on Amazon or via your local English bookstore.

A daring, kaleidoscopic novel about the clash of empires and ideas in the sixteenth century that continue to reverberate throughout modernity—a story unlike anything you’ve ever read before.

Sudden Death begins with a brutal tennis match that could decide the fate of the world. The bawdy Italian painter Caravaggio and the loutish Spanish poet Quevedo battle it out before a crowd that includes Galileo, Mary Magdalene, and a generation of popes who would throw Europe into the flames. In England, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII behead Anne Boleyn, and her crafty executioner transforms her legendary locks into the most sought-after tennis balls of the time. Across the ocean in Mexico, the last Aztec emperors play their own games, as conquistador Hernán Cortés and his Mayan translator and lover, La Malinche, scheme and conquer, fight and fuck, not knowing that their domestic comedy will change the world. And in a remote Mexican colony a bishop reads Thomas More’s Utopia and thinks that instead of a parody, it’s a manual.

In this mind-bending, prismatic novel, worlds collide, time coils, traditions break down. There are assassinations and executions, hallucinogenic mushrooms, utopias, carnal liaisons and papal dramas, artistic and religious revolutions, love stories and war stories. A dazzlingly original voice and a postmodern visionary, Álvaro Enrigue tells a grand adventure of the dawn of the modern era in this short, powerful punch of a novel. Game, set, match.

„Sudden Death is the best kind of puzzle, its elements so esoteric and wildly funny that readers will race through the book, wondering how Álvaro Enrigue will be able to pull a novel out of such an astonishing ball of string. But Enrigue absolutely does; and with brilliance and clarity and emotional warmth all the more powerful for its surreptitiousness.“ —Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies


Writer, editor and literary critic born in Mexico D. F. in 1969, Álvaro Enrigue has spent his life between the Federal District and Washington, D.C. He was for a time professor of literature at the Universidad Iberoamericana and of creative writing at the University of Maryland. Since 1990 he has been devoted to literary criticism and has collaborated in magazines and newspapers in Mexico and Spain. Upon his return to Mexico, after a brief period as a literature editor of the Fondo de Cultura Económica, he has become part of the magazine Letras Libres.


Natasha Wimmer is an American translator best known for her translations of Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 and The Savage Detectives from Spanish into English. Wimmer learned Spanish in Spain, where she spent four years growing up. She studied Spanish literature at Harvard.