In 2007, Aurora Venturini stunned Argentine readers when her darkly funny and formally daring novel, Cousins, won a newspaper’s award for a first novel. She had already written more than thirty books, but it was only at the age of eighty-five that she was widely recognised as a radical voice in Spanish-language literature.
Widely regarded as Venturini’s masterpiece, Cousins is the story of four women from an impoverished, dysfunctional family in La Plata, Argentina, who are forced to suffer a series of ordeals including disfigurement, illegal abortions, miscarriages, sexual abuse and murder, narrated by a daughter whose success as a painter offers her a chance to achieve economic independence and help her family as best she can.
Neighborhood mythologies, family, female sexuality, vengeance, and social mobility through art are explored and scrutinized in the unmistakable voice of an unforgettable protagonist, Yuna, who stares wildly at the world in which she is compelled to live; a voice unique in its candidness, sharp edge and utterly breathtaking power. Cousins is the jewel in Venturini’s oeuvre – mischievous and stylish, vital and mysterious . . . and completely original.