Prodigies

An enchanting novel of the women whose lives pass through a nineteenth century boarding house. Moving, subtle, and dreamlike.

Prodigies explores the story of the poet Novalis’s birthplace in the German town of Weissenfels after it is converted into a boarding house. Moving, subtle, and full of wit, irony, and dreams, this novel fills the house with the women who lived there throughout the 19th century, and across the flow of history constructs the secret drama of their destinies.

Reviews

Liberty Hardy @ Book Riot says: “I am so in love with this book I could explode! I want to hug it and pet it and call it George. I knew it would be good, because Small Beer Press publishes the best, but I had no idea how just enchanted I would be with this delightful novel of unusual tenants at a boarding house in the nineteenth century. This book scratched my Muriel Spark/Barbara Comyns itches, with an extra side of the unusual. Originally published in 1994, this is Argentinian writer Gorodischer’s third novel to be translated into English. I will definitely be reading the first two now!”

Considered by the author and many others to be her best novel, Prodigies is the third novel we have published by this author in English (after Kalpa Imperial and Trafalgar — although this book is very different from both of those.

“La casa del poeta Novalis acoge las vidas de varias mujeres durante el siglo diecinueve. Con humor, ironi´a y un firme manejo de la atmo´sfera en que se desarrolla la accio´n, Gorodischer ofrece una trama misteriosa y secreta de estos destinos atrapados entre los muros de la vieja casona” — Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

“Gorodischer’s rhythmic and transparent prose reveals the violence underlying bourgeois respectability. Prodigies is both incisive and incantatory.”
—Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria

“The house of the poet Novalis welcomes the lives of several women during the nineteenth century. With humor, irony and firm handling of the atmosphere in which the action unfolds, Gorodischer offers a mysterious and secret plot of these destinations trapped within the walls of the old house.” — Handbook of Latin American Studies

Prodigies, which she considers to be her best novel . . . takes place in Germany in the home of the poet Novalis after his death, and is a humorous and ironic portrayal of the women who passed through that home.”— Gwendolyn Díaz, Women and Power in Argentinean Literature

About the Author

Angélica Gorodischer was born in Buenos Aires in 1928 and has lived in Rosario since 1936. She has published many novels and short story collections including Kalpa Imperial, Mango Juice, and Trafalgar, as well as a memoir, History of My Mother. Her work has been translated into many languages and her translators include Ursula K. Le Guin and Alberto Manguel. With certain self-satisfaction she claims she has never written plays or poems, not even at 16 when everybody writes poems, especially on unrequited love. She received two Fulbright awards as well as many literary awards around the world, including a 2014 Konex Special Mention Award.

About the Translator

Born in Wisconsin, Sue Burke moved to Madrid, Spain, in 1999. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. She has worked as a journalist and editor and is a member of the American Translators Association and the Asociación Española de Fantasía, Ciencia Ficción, y Terror.

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