Monday, September 24, 2018


No se la pierdan por nada del mundo.
Habrá streaming (pero inscríbanse para mandar materiales).


Monday, September 10, 2018


No se la pierdan. Aquí, en UH, como parte de la Workshop Series Fall 2018, del PhD en Estudios Hispánicos con concentración en Escritura Creativa en Español (ECE).


Thursday, September 06, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

THE TAIGA SYNDROME--Publishers Weekly´s starred review

Rivera Garza’s extraordinary, incantatory novel (following The Iliac Crest) is short but stunning, following a semi-retired detective on the trail of her client’s second ex-wife, who abandoned him for a younger man. Intermittent communications from the couple place them last at the Taiga, an immense, faraway, and largely inhospitable forest province that borders the tundra. People disappear from the Taiga at such a frequency that the phenomenon has a name—the Taiga Syndrome. The detective arrives at the Taiga village from where her client’s ex-wife last sent a telegram, bringing along a translator for help. Though she privately suspects she’s there on a wild goose chase, the detective nonetheless faithfully records all that she comes across, including unsettling interviews with little boys and stories of a wolf cub who seemed to take an interest in the ex-wife and her lover. “Hansel and Gretel” and “Little Red Riding Hood” are explicitly referenced throughout the book—the original, darker versions, of course. And there are some truly chilling aspects of the novel, including what the aforementioned little boy confesses he witnessed and a feral child the Taiga lumberjacks find in the forest. In the climax, the detective plunges deep into the Taiga in search of the ex-wife, and discovers where love must go before it can finally be considered over. As lyrical as a poem (“Look at this: your knees. They are used for kneeling upon reality, also for crawling, terrified. You use them to sit on a lotus flower and say goodbye to the immensity”) and as fantastic as a fairy tale, Rivera Garza’s gorgeous, propulsive novel will haunt readers long after it’s finished.

Full article here


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

THE TAIGA SYNDROME--Kirkus´ starred review

A detective travels to the heart of a mysterious snow forest in this existential mystery about desire, hauntings, and the failure of language.
When the unnamed narrator of Mexican author Rivera Garza’s (The Iliac Crest, 2017, etc.) gothic noir accepts the case of a missing couple, she feels haunted by all the cases she has failed to solve. “The case of the woman who disappeared behind a whirlwind. The case of the castrated men. The case of the woman who gave her hand, literally,” she thinks. Intrigued and alarmed by her client's tragic description of the Taiga Syndrome, in which “inhabitants of the Taiga begin to suffer terrible anxiety attacks and make suicidal attempts to escape,” she sets off with a translator to follow in the missing couple’s footsteps. When they arrive at the village where the couple was last seen, they’re brought to “a hovel...a habitable structure made from wood, cardboard, and lots of dry branches.” Here, the boundaries between prose and poetry, reality and myth—both already tenuous—begin to blur even further. A wolf spied waiting outside the couple’s cabin door might have been a wild boy captured by passing lumberjacks. A miscarriage witnessed by a village child might be the origin story of “two miniature creatures” used in a bawdy bordello show. The miniature creatures might, after all, be real. If haunting is a kind of repetition, the narrator and her translator begin their own ghost story, following in the footsteps of the couple before them, falling in love—if only briefly. This novel, in a translation by Levine and Kana, is taught, lyrical, and strange, and it fits right in with Dorothy, A Publishing Project’s commitment to work that challenges what genres and forms can do. Like the best speculative fiction, it follows the sinuous paths of its own logic but gives the reader plenty of room to play. Fans of fairy tales and detective stories, Kathryn Davis and Idra Novey, will all find something to love.
An eerie, slippery gem of a book.

Link here



coverThe Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza (translated by Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana): Marguerite DurasClarice LispectorJuan Rulfo—comparisons to each have been made with regard to Cristina Rivera Garza’s novels, which are uncanny and unique, often exploring and crossing and investigating borders, including but not limited to “geopolitical borders and conceptual borders, borders of gender and genre, borders between life and death.” Rivera Garza has spent her life crossing borders, too. Born in Mexico, she lived between San Diego and Tijuana for a long while, and she now directs the first bilingual creative writing Ph.D. program at the University of Houston. The Taiga Syndrome is Rivera Garza’s second novel to be translated to English, a book which Daniel Borzutzky likens to “Apocalypse Now fused with the worlds of Clarice Lispector and Jorge Luis Borges.” Yowza. (Anne)

See "Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2018 Book Preview" here


Friday, June 08, 2018


Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Iliac Crest has been compared to a David Lynch film, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a circular, unbounded story where nothing is certain: gender, chronology, borders and death are all ambiguous, both for the protagonist and the reader.
One night, two women arrive, hours apart, at the unidentified narrator’s house. One is apparently an ex-lover, the other a stranger who claims to be Mexican author Amparo Dávila. Their appearance turns his world in on itself, as all aspects of his previously insular life are questioned. In his hunt to find out why they’ve chosen to cling to him, his masculinity is doubted to the point where he frequently has to check to remind himself of his gender, his memories blur and fade in and out of reality, and his actions are fueled by the concept of appearance, disappearance and stability.
Garza has a flair for describing intense pleasure: paragraphs where the narrator is offered first whisky, then – in later pages – a cigar are laced with a dizzying hedonism, made all the more sensuous when juxtaposed against the creeping terror of nearly every other scene. Similarly intense, the ocean’s constant presence as a character in its own right introduces the concept of borders and finality to the text, reflecting themes as relevant today as they were when the novel was first published nearly 20 years ago.
The true significance of each individual word is due to the novel’s translator, Sarah Booker. The ambiguity of translation allows themes and motifs to take on numerous façades: the term ‘turn back’ is one which recurs throughout, and it is beautifully unclear each time whether it should be read literally or metaphorically. This vagueness blurs the line between sanity and insanity even more in this fever dream of a story. [Kirstyn Smith]
Full text here.


Thursday, May 17, 2018


In the wake of the #MeToo movement, as new generations of women worldwide forcibly expose the cruel nature of the gender hierarchies (and binaries) that structure our daily lives, while many reject the possibility of being either physically disappeared or culturally erased, the decision to only publish women authors may appear unusual, but it is urgent. I am convinced that writing is a critical practice: true, bold, brave, formally adventurous writing should have the ability to change perceptions and experience; the disordering of the senses talked about by Rimbaud, inextricably linked with the disordering of everyday life as we know it. Producing unusualness, writing expands our sense of what is possible. Imaginable. Livable. Publishing women authors is not a minor component in this process.
In See full text here. 


ESTAR ALERTA: Escribir en español en los Estados Unidos

no de los primeros actos de la presidencia de Donald Trump consistió en borrar el español de la página oficial de la Casa Blanca. No fue, como algunos lo explicaron en su momento, una medida transitoria con la que se pretendía mejorar la información contenida, sino una verdadera declaración de principios. Borrar es el nombre del juego. Hacer como que cincuenta y pico millones de hispanohablantes no viven y trabajan y producen en los Estados Unidos a los Estados Unidos, el segundo país donde viven más hispanohablantes en el mundo (sólo después de México). Los que todavía tenían esperanza de que el bravado nacionalista que caracterizó la campaña de Trump se transformaría, ya en la presidencia, en la toma de medidas más moderadas, entendieron que el verdadero invierno apenas estaba por empezar. Los ataques de Trump contra los inmigrantes, especialmente contra inmigrantes pobres y morenos de América Latina y, entre ellos, sobre todo los de México, son la firma de una agenda que promete devolver la grandeza blanca y homogénea a los Estados Unidos. Esa nostalgia por un mundo que nunca existió en esta nación de migrantes es la que lleva a cientos de miles a formar parte de esos coros demenciales que piden la construcción de grandes muros fronterizos, la proliferación de armas en las calles y el castigo a lo diverso y diferente.
Tal vez no fue una mera coincidencia entonces que inauguráramos el Doctorado en Escritura Creativa en Español en la Universidad de Houston sólo unos meses después de que Trump llegara al poder, en el semestre de otoño de 2017.

En Revista de la Universidad Nacional. Ver artículo completo aquí.


Saturday, March 24, 2018


Este domingo el esperado taller de Samanta Schweblin para el PhD en Escritura Creativa en Español. Y el lunes, martes y miércoles de la próxima semana seguimos con el taller de la gran María Negroni.
Si desean inscribirse gratuitamente manden mensaje a:



En Monterrey, Nl
Viernes 23 de marzo
¡Ahí nos vemos!


Friday, March 16, 2018

University of Michigan

Friday, March 16th
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Keynote address: Writing with Communities Today: Disappropriation and Shareng

Saturday, March 17th
2:00 - 3:00 pm
The Iliac Crest: Reading and Conversation


Tuesday, February 20, 2018


 Abigail Cortés escribió "Reescritura de Rulfo o no sé qué" para Libroamérica:

El cintillo del nuevo libro de Cristina Rivera Garza Había mucha neblina o humo o no sé qué (2017), anuncia: “Un personalísimo homenaje y visión de Juan Rulfo. Obra experimental que rompe los límites de los géneros, Cristina Rivera Garza demuestra una vez más su fascinante habilidad literaria”. Yo, después de tremendas promesas, leí con ansia mi ejemplar y, a lo largo de sus páginas, sentí emoción, melancolía, sorpresa; también, logré sostener un interesante diálogo con las ideas que el libro despliega sobre el autor de Pedro Páramo (1955).
   “Cada quien tiene su Rulfo Privado. El mío, mi Rulfo mío de mí está tan interesado en producir una obra como preocupado por ganarse la vida”, dice nuestra escritora en la contraportada del libro. Sí, es cierto, cada quien guarda para sí a sus autores más queridos y los cuida de la mejor manera que puede. Por ejemplo, he de confesar que yo también tengo un Rulfo privado. Uno mío de [1]. Actualmente, me dedico a estudiar la obra del autor de El llano en llamas (1953), en particular, su correspondencia amorosa;[2] sin embargo, me atrevo a opinar sobre el estudio de Rivera Garza con el conocimiento previo de que ella me supera en lecturas e investigación.
   Primeramente, he decidido hablar sobre Había mucha neblina o humo o no sé qué ahora que ha pasado la euforia, y es que publicar un libro, el cual habla sobre los aspectos biográficos de Juan Rulfo en el año de su centenario fue una proeza que causó diversas opiniones, algunas más amables que otras. No obstante, me niego a profundizar en la polémica pues no la considero relevante.
   La autora recorre los mismos caminos que Rulfo y escribe un “libro viajero” conformado por seis capítulos tan diferentes como interesantes; apuesta por una escritura biográfica de Juan Rulfo diferente a lo que se ha hecho antes pues, al contextualizar al autor, lo desacraliza para exponer que Juan Nepomuceno Carlos Pérez Rulfo Vizcaíno, aunque no lo parezca, fue humano. Además, Rivera Garza crea un texto híbrido, toma recursos biográficos e históricos y los entrevera dando como resultado imágenes nítidas sobre acontecimientos que dislocan las prácticas de lectura pues en este libro la realidad participa de la ficción y viceversa.
Artículo completo aquí 

Friday, January 12, 2018


Roberto Cruz Arzabal publicó "Archivos potenciales: domiciliación y colindancias en Viriditas de Cristina Rivera Garza" en Letras Femeninas Vol. 42, Num. 2, 2016, pp.35-43

Tomando como punto de partida el concepto de archivo según fue problematizado por Jacques Derrida en su muy conocido Mal d'archive, propongo leer las prácticas de archivo dentro de la obra de Cristina rivera Garza, no sólo como elementos referenciales dentro de los textos, sino como procedimientos artísticos en relación con la acumulación y la domiciliación que delimitan el interior y el exterior de la textualidad. En especial, propongo la lectura del libro Viriditas que, aunque poco atendido por la critica, resulta un objeto ejemplar para entender el movimiento entre domiciliación y trazo arqueológico en la obra de Rivera Garza. Además, utilizo el concepto de escrituras colindantes, propuesto por la propia autora, para relacionar las formas intermediales del libro con los movimientos del archivo que la producen.

Ensayo completo aquí.



I wrote "12 Essential Female Authors" for Publishers Weekly:

Some of them are cult writers in their respective countries; some have gained recognition across the Spanish-speaking world but have yet to be fully accounted for in English; some are translated into several languages, figuring prominently in trans-border literary conversations in languages other than English; most defy easy classification; all deserve a place in your reading list. This is but a small selection of the many women writers from the Spanish-speaking world who have ceaselessly questioned the status quo, refusing to comply with gender and other hierarchies. Their voices are more necessary than ever. Long live too their fearless and irreverent translators!

See full article here


Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Alejandra Olivo on The Iliac Crest for

This creepy feminist ghost story has it all: Hitchcockian body-doubles, the ghost of forgotten Mexican writer Amparo Davila, a lonely asylum by the sea, a slow descent into madness. Written as a response to the rising tide of femicide throughout Latin America, The Iliac Crest uses these horror-movie tropes to deal with topics of female erasure, violence, and borders. This book is unsettling and strange and so, so good.

Her selection of Best Books by Latin American and Latino Authors 2017 here


Monday, December 11, 2017


Scott Esposito published this interview in The Quarterly Conversation, issue 50: 

The impetus for this long-overdue interview was the publication of Sarah Booker’s recent English-language translation of Cristina Rivera Garza’s novel The Iliac Crest. The book, which is a sort of fable set near a sanitarium and involving gedner, illness, madness, and borders (all common themes of the author) can be read about here in great depth. I will only say that this remarkably resilient, interpretable, and eye-opening book was a wonderful excuse to converse with an admired, original, and like-minded writer. Throughout this interview Rivera Garza was kind, generous, and surprising, and were there more time in the world this conversation would have run to two or three times this length.

Scott Esposito: Your work has been noted for its feminist themes, as well those of flux, transformations, borders, illness, migration—all things that are present in The Iliac Crest. To start, can you tell us a little about what drew you toward this subject matter as your identity as a writer began to form toward the beginning of your career?
Cristina Rivera Garza: I am interested in borders, borders of all kind, geopolitical borders and conceptual borders, borders of gender and genre, borders between life and death. I spend most of my time thinking of ways to cross such borders. How come we are allowed, even invited at times, to walk over some of them, but are prevented from even approaching others? In what ways what we are or the way we look or behave allow us to come close to some and reach other borders? I was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, right on the other side of Brownsville, Texas, and have lived a good chunk of my life in between San Diego and Tijuana—one of the most dynamic borders of our contemporary world—so that may explain this fascination. And yet, there is something else. There is this originary out-of-placeness, if you will. My family has migrated both within and outside Mexico for generations now. I did learn from an early age that we were not from there (and there was everywhere). The eyes of a nomadic foreigner look at the world in skewed ways. You are more cautious and more irreverent at the same time. You become aware that your body, your mere presence, complicates things. This experience later became an aesthetics. I have realized lately that both in terms of content and form I am usually looking for that angle, that gaze I am fond of complicating things!

See the entire interview here



A review of The Iliac Crest by Sarah Coolidge in Quarterly Conversations, issue 50:

Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Iliac Crest is a novel riddled with holes, disappearances that have the effect of warping and obscuring the world its reader inhabits. If this book were to have a single guiding principle, it might be these words: “Disappearance is contagious. Everyone knows this.” The narrator’s confidence in this fact is a bit alarming, and may come as news to the reader. Is disappearance a physical illness and this book some kind of existential science fiction treatise? Well, yes and no.
It’s hard to assert definitively just what this book is, although what is clear is that, in Rivera Garza’s world, disappearances are not unconnected—they propagate through a chain reaction, through physical contact, as the narrator goes on to explain almost scientifically, as if we were dealing with an outbreak of the flu. In fact, disappearance in this book is often referred to in medical terms, as an “epidemic,” or else in political terms, as a “conspiracy.” Either way, the fact is that these disappearances are all connected, whether by microscopic bacteria, by the secret crimes committed by a police state, or by some other insidious means.
But what, exactly, does it mean to disappear in Cristina Rivera Garza’s novel? Disappearances occur in multiple forms, both as seemingly passive actions—a memory or piece of information the narrator has forgotten or failed to mention; a made-up language that has not been deciphered for us—and active ones—the deliberate silencing of women with morphine; mysterious cover-ups; a stolen manuscript; and of course death. Even the fact that the narrator left behind his previous life to move to this strange, isolated town to work for a sanatorium is a kind of disappearance, a conclusion that the narrator himself reaches: “I became aware, perhaps like never before, that this community formed around a handful of failing souls was, in fact, disappeared.”

Read entire review here


Sunday, November 26, 2017


A review of The Iliac Crest by Ron Slate:

If, as readers, what we desire in fiction and poetry is a vision of a complete world, then Cristina Rivera Garza’s novel offers a disturbing fulfillment. For writers wishing to take up issues of gender and identity, the novel is essential reading – because it teaches how to integrate ideas within the artful wholeness of an imaginative vision. Here, self-integrity doesn’t issue merely from the rightness of one’s values. We have just begun to fathom what we are, the words are only now arriving haltingly from “beyond memory.” Here, equality among beings is a starting point, not a destination, and everyone is struggling against the life-diminishing aspects of culture. “Women, I assume, understand,” says the doctor about his “new condition.” “To the men, it is enough to know that this happens more often than we think.” 
Garza’s language, in Sarah Booker’s attuned translation, not only lets us hear the sound of an awakening but actually draws us into the disorienting process of seeing ourselves anew. The Iliac Crest is simply astonishing.

See full article here.


Friday, November 17, 2017


Es cierto, La muerte me da cumple 10 años, y Vicente Alfonso escribió este texto para El Siglo de Torreón:

Como las mejores novelas del género, La muerte me da contiene más preguntas que respuestas. Pero lo que distingue a esta ficción de otros thrillers es que aquí no hay sólo un enigma criminal, también hay un apasionante enigma literario. Se trata de una novela policial consciente de que lo es, y eso la convierte, al mismo tiempo, en otra cosa: una reflexión sobre la literatura y sus misterios. Ya en el arranque del segundo capítulo hay una advertencia a los lectores, hecha por la escritora cuyo nombre coincide con el de la autora del libro, Cristina Rivera Garza: "Es difícil explicar lo que uno hace (…) Detallar, en toda su lenta dispersión, la rutina diaria para alguien a quien le interesa otra cosa, alguien a quien le interesa resolver un crimen".
Consta así, desde el inicio, que en esta novela no es la mera solución de los crímenes lo que importa. Vamos, ni siquiera los crímenes son el eje. El corazón de esta novela estriba en la reconstrucción de la realidad que, pese a sus limitaciones, intenta la literatura. Acostumbrada a reflexionar en torno al lenguaje y sus trampas, Rivera Garza nos hace notar que por más que un texto intente ser fiel a los hechos, al trasvasar la realidad a las palabras siempre se pierden algunas cosas y se ganan otras. Porque un texto es siempre la interpretación de quien lo escribe, no la realidad. En esa transmutación hay un sesgo inevitable. Así ocurre cuando la escritora que encuentra el primer cadáver observa que "la víctima siempre es femenino. En el recuento de los hechos, en los artículos del periódico, en los ensayos que alguna vez se escriban sobre estos eventos, esta palabra los castrará una y otra vez".

Lean el artículo completo aquí



Michele Roche Rodríguez escribió esta reseña de Había mucha neblina o humo o no sé qué en Colofón. Revista Literaria:

Aunque no atenta en verdad contra el canon literario mexicano –por mucho que la Fundación Rulfo quiera demostrar lo contrario–, Había mucha neblina o humo o no sé qué propone una lectura novedosa de la obra de Rulfo que vale la pena conocer ahora que se cumplen cien años del nacimiento del autor que falleció en 1986. Su interpretación se sustenta a grandes rasgos en la noción de Ricardo Piglia sobre una “historia material de la literatura” expuesta en El último lector, donde propone mirar a los escritores fundamentales a través de los aportes que a su obra hizo la manera como se ganaban la vida. Queda la pregunta en el ambiente: ¿Qué hubiera sido de Pedro Páramo y de El llano en llamas si Juan Rulfo, en lugar de ser agente de viajes dentro de su país para una compañía de cauchos –“llantas”, dicen en México– hubiera trabajado, por ejemplo, como agente aduanero en la costa de Sinaloa?

Lean el artículo completo aquí. 


Thursday, November 16, 2017


Craig Epplin wrote "A Forensic Novel," a review of The Iliac Crest recently:

This is why the dominant image of bones bears out so brilliantly here. Stripped of all that animates them and gives them character, bones are purely residual—they are what remain after a life has ended and flesh has decayed. But they also have stories to tell about that life, whether through DNA analysis or through simple visual examination. They are at once anonymous and individual, just like all earthly beings. Any understanding of our material situation, however we define it, begins with acceptance of this duality between specificity and generality. It is for this reason that The Iliac Crest matters today: it carries out a sophisticated, dynamic inquiry into language, gender, and power, and leaves its readers transformed by its lyrical investigation of what it means to inhabit a body.

Read full article here



J.M Schreiber wrote "And Then I Turned Back" about The Iliac Crest:

I almost hesitate to write about The Iliac Crest. I feel that to tread too carelessly into the heart of this enigmatic dark fable would be risk fracturing its utterly devastating beauty. One may be best to enter its world of shifting borders where space, time, reality, fantasy, sanity, madness, identity, and gender are bent, blurred and ever so steadily unraveled without any preconceptions. Not that there is a viable bread crumb trail that could be followed to ensure Absolute Understanding. But it may be best to let the narrator be your guide, or rather to accompany him as his self-contained, apathetic existence is disturbed and distorted.

Read full review here



 Rivera Garza’s novel succeeds as a suspenseful psychological horror story in the vein of a David Lynch film or Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, as a dissolver of the space between genders, and as a challenge to the cultural erasure of the real-life Dávila. The result is mind-bending.

Read full review here