The She-Devil in the Mirror
Salvadorean society is shocked by the gruesome murder of a young upper-class woman, and no one more so than her best friend Laura. In her first-person solo narration, Laura rattles on and on about her disbelief and horror at the evils all around her—but who’s that in the mirror?
Laura Rivera can’t believe what has happened. Her best friend has been killed in cold blood in the living room of her home, in front of her two young daughters! Nobody knows who pulled the trigger, but Laura will not rest easy until she finds out. Her dizzying, delirious, hilarious, and blood-curdling one-sided dialogue carries the reader on a rough and tumble ride through the social, political, economic, and sexual chaos of post-civil war San Salvador. A detective story of pulse-quickening suspense, The She-Devil in the Mirror is also a sober reminder that justice and truth are more often than not illusive. Castellanos Moya’s relentless, obsessive narrator—female, rich, paranoid, wonderfully perceptive, and, in the end, fabulously unreliable—paints with frivolous profundity a society in a state of collapse.
Castellanos Moya’s Senselessness was acclaimed “an innovative and invigoratingly twisted piece of art” (Village Voice) and “a brilliantly crafted moral fable, as if Kafka had gone to Latin America for his source materials” (Russell Banks).
Praise For The She-Devil in the Mirror…
— Roberto Bolaño
He has put El Salvador on the literary map.
— Natasha Wimmer - The Nation
Like Kafka, Moya keeps an ironic eye trained on the way in which bureaucracies become corollaries of dictatorships….His leaps from absurdity to terror and back again are like something out of The Castle.
— Tommy Wallach - The World (PRI)
Castellanos Moya's narrator is delightfully paranoid and obsessed.
— Joshua Marcus - Times Literary Supplement
Humor amid the madness and evil. Don't let the breezy, often funny and frequently irreverent tone fool you.
— John Greenya - Sunday Washington Times
Dark and comic, at turns violent and oddly erotic.
— Nate Martin - Stopsmiling.com
This book reads beautifully…and is quite captivating. Looks like Moya's reputation will continue to grow for years to come.
— Chad Post - Three Percent
[It] careen[s] with such giddy enthusiasm.
— Don Sjoerdsma - Northwest Phoenix
New Directions, 9780811218467, 192pp.
Publication Date: September 30, 2009
About the Author
Katherine Silver's award-winning translations include works by María Sonia Cristoff, Daniel Sada, César Aira, Julio Cortázar, Juan Carlos Onetti, and Julio Ramón Ribeyro. The author of Echo Under Story, she does volunteer interpreting for asylum seekers.