Mariana Enriquez has been critically lauded for her unconventional and sociopolitical stories of the macabre. Populated by unruly teenagers, crooked witches, homeless ghosts, and hungry women, they walk the uneasy line between urban realism and horror. The stories in her new collection are as terrifying as they are socially conscious, and press into being the unspoken—fetish, illness, the female body, the darkness of human history—with bracing urgency. A woman is sexually obsessed with the human heart; a lost, rotting baby crawls out of a backyard and into a bedroom; a pair of teenage girls can’t let go of their idol; an entire neighborhood is cursed to death when it fails to respond correctly to a moral dilemma.
Written against the backdrop of contemporary Argentina, and with a resounding tenderness toward those in pain, in fear, and in limbo, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is Mariana Enriquez at her most sophisticated, and most chilling.
Results. As you can see below it was a pretty close race all around, except for the spy thriller Code Name Hélène almost certainly due to those horrible accent marks over the e's. While The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and The Dangers of Smoking in Bed came in a tie for first, I chose number of first place choices as a tie breaker (2-1 in favor of the latter), because . I didn't feel like doing a run-off (sorry), . The first place vote for LaRue was my own, so ain't nobody getting cheated, and . I really like the cover of Smoking in Bed so it's more aesthetically pleasing for the website.
That said, I already added LaRue to my cart before a last second vote forced the tie, so if you want to read that too I will read it with you. Also, don't forget to read 1Q84. Or read whatever you want and however much you want. Life is too short to do it any other way.