AmongStrange_WEB
Category: , , , .

Among Strange Victims

A novel by Daniel Saldaña París

Slackers meets Savage Detectives in this polyphonic ode to the pleasures of not measuring up.

June 7, 2016
5.5 x 8.25 | 320 Pages
Trade Paper

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.

ISBN: 978-1-56689-430-2.

$16.95

Description

Rodrigo likes his vacant lot, its resident chicken, and being left alone. But when passivity finds him accidentally married to Cecilia, he trades Mexico City for the sun-bleached desolation of his hometown and domestic life with Cecilia for the debauched company of a poet, a philosopher, and Micaela, whose allure includes the promise of time travel. Earthy, playful, and sly, Among Strange Victims is a psychedelic ode to the pleasures of not measuring up.

Daniel Saldaña París (born Mexico City, 1984) is an essayist, poet, and novelist whose work has been translated into English, French, and Swedish and anthologized, most recently in Mexico20: New Voices, Old Traditions, published in the United Kingdom by Pushkin Press. Among Strange Victims is his first novel to appear in the United States. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Reviews

“Great fun are the jabs at academia, Mexico City and the dusty town where the action, or inaction, moves after Rodrigo meets Marcelo, a Spanish cretin with a Ph.D. in aesthetics. These flameless flâneurs humph and hump, personifying urban malaise.” —New York Times Sunday Book Review

“Full of odd twists and surprises. Among the high points are Saldaña París’ exasperated but affectionate paeans to ‘the immense, beautiful city’ that is Mexico’s capital. Though a study of slothfulness and its discontents, a welcome book on which the author has clearly expended energy.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The novel takes some bizarre turns as Marcelo leads Rodrigo into experiments involving drugs, tequila, hypnosis and more, all in the name of transformation. If the young man’s notion of radical change is to take part in his life rather than observe it from afar, he’s off to a good start.” —New York Times

“Saldaña París’s first novel to be translated Stateside is a leisurely story of slacking off that’s nicely conveyed in a sharp, cynical tone. . . . Read this messy, shaggy picaresque for its ample page-by-page pleasures, which include devilishly clever syntax, a charming tendency to digress, and satisfying flashes of Rodrigo and Marcelo getting their act together.” —Publishers Weekly

“For all Saldaña París’ sharp wit, Among Strange Victims is about waking up to the world’s brighter possibilities.” —NPR

“There is something uncannily Pitolean about this novel. And that is a very good thing.” —Three Percent 

“Brief, brilliantly written, and kissed by a sense of the absurd. . . . Like a much lazier, Mexico City version of Dostoevsky’s Underground Man.” —Fresh Air

“Partnership is important, says this young, slacker, thirtysomething Mexican writer, even if it’s only with a hen in a vacant lot.” —The Rumpus

“It’s a novel that sneaks up on you in the best possible way.” —Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“Daniel Saldaña París’s Among Strange Victims . . . is, despite the questions surrounding the Latin American canon, a natural successor in the Latin American oeuvre. Saldaña París eases forward from the Crack and McOndo movements, yet still evokes the hues of Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch. But, perhaps most crucially, Among Strange Victims still wonders what this Latin American-ness could mean.” —Full Stop

“The real life absurdities surrounding Trump’s visit are definitely stranger than the fictional absurdities Rodrigo faces, though I can’t help but wonder if somehow these narratives are cosmically linked. Daniel Saldaña París’ pulse on the Mexican psyche feels that precise, that honest, that timely.” —Ploughshares

“The novel teases and revises questions about how to live a meaningful life with agency by turning them into a thought experiment that Saldana París handles with formal invention and a Millennial twist.” —Words Without Borders

“Daniel Saldaña Paris’ first novel to be translated into English is an expertly composed, leisurely read that sucks you in but never spits you out. . . . This book is a must-read.” —Largehearted Boy

 

“Although its stylized narrative can be an acquired taste, Among Strange Victims is deceptively affecting.” —Star Tribune

“It’s a novel that comes at you from odd angles, making a memorable impression as it goes.” —Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“In an easygoing, oddly entrancing style, París presents a meandering plot . . . but the events of the narrative pale in comparison to the surprising pleasure of the thoroughly offbeat prose. . . . Pari´s has mastered the art of spinning an outlandish, entertaining tale.” —Booklist

“It is impossible to read Among Strange Victims without being charmed by its wit and disarmed by its fierce and mysterious languor. In this novel, Daniel Saldaña París asks how one should cope with the impossible burden of living your own life—and gives a graceful riddle of an answer that will linger with you long after the book is done.” —Alexandra Kleeman

“Translator Christina MacSweeney has done an excellent job bringing the intelligent vitality of Paris’s prose into English. . . . What has happened to the life of the artist, Among Strange Victims asks. Why do we so often build critical distances between ourselves and our lives? And how can we bridge those gaps?” —Electric Literature

“Saldaña París is a Montreal-based poet, essayist, and novelist, born in Mexico City, and, as this darkly humorous and thoughtful novel—both in the sense of being contemplative and packed full of an onrush of thoughts—proves, is a welcome infusion of vitality into North American literature.” —Bookslut

“Daniel Saldaña París’s Among Strange Victims, translated by Christina MacSweeney, immediately pulls the reader into its universe. It does so with such thorough and seamless skill that the reader becomes a victim of this strange, off-kilter world.” —Cleaver Magazine

“[Among Strange Victims is] an impressive work by a talented young writer.” —Largehearted Boy

“As I read [Among Strange Victims], I felt I was witnessing a great performance. It reminded me a little of young Mozart showing off at the emperor’s golden harpsichord, giggling and improvising variations on Salieri’s welcome march, startling all the wigged and powdered Viennese stiffs. And I sensed something desperate and inflamed in the writing too, as though the author assumed all along that nobody would ever read his book. That’s probably what I like most about it—the cocky, indulgent, nihilistic virtuosity.” —BOMB

“Quirky and absurd, it’s a funny, shambling look at the benefits (and drawbacks) of living life at your own lazy pace.” —Men’s Journal

“The English debut by the young and talented Daniel Saldaña Paris, Among Strange Victims is the definitive millennial existentialist novel of Mexico City.” —The Culture Trip

“Saldaña París writes with a gifted and confident prose that is as much the star of this singular novel as its unforgettable characters and delighting plot. This young Mexican writer (and poet, too) is surely one to watch, and if Among Strange Victims is but a harbinger of what’s to come, then Saldaña París may well have a long, fruitful, and fantastic career ahead of himself.” —Jeremy Garber, Powell’s Books

“Critics have drawn comparisons between París’s latest novel (his first to be translated in the United States) and the work of his blockbuster predecessor, Roberto Bolaño.” —Brooklyn Magazine

“Daniel Saldaña París, following in the tradition of di Lampedusa, shows that non-writers—that is to say, those who don’t exclusively cultivate what’s known as a literary life—are the ones who make the best books.” —Mario Bellatin

“I rewrote the first forty pages of Among Strange Victims several times over two years before finding the right tone for it. It started being a very serious, philosophical novel, but with each new version it became more and more humorous.” —The Quarterly Conversation