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January by Sara Gallardo
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January by Sara Gallardo
Paperback $18.00
Oct 24, 2023 | ISBN 9781953861641

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“This début novel—by an acclaimed Argentinean writer, and first published in 1958—centers on a sixteen-year-old who becomes pregnant after an assault by an older man. Setting the story in the sweltering heat of Argentina’s Pampas, Gallardo re-creates the world of ranchers and missionaries from the perspective of the girl, with her adolescent confusion and private sense of guilt. Gallardo juxtaposes her solitary desperation—she visits a local medicine woman for an abortion, and gallops recklessly on horseback to induce a miscarriage—with the conservative Catholic society that closes ranks against her.” The New Yorker

“A crystalline and tightly-wound story of a young woman’s tenacious desire for her own freedom and the rigid, Catholic community that is unable to recognize her as a full human being. Elegant and forceful–I couldn’t put it down.” — Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X

“Sara Gallardo’s story bursts with intensity, as a young country girl in Argentina confronts the dreadful fact of an unwanted pregnancy. In her desperation, she sees the landscape, her family, her neighbors, become a phantasmagoric world filled with terror.  Nefer’s sensitive consciousness is the lens through which we view her situation, as well as the village life surrounding her, all transformed by dread.  This is an exciting, unusual excursion into the mind of a girl whose future has suddenly become a nightmare.” — Lynne Sharon Schwartz

“Sara Gallard’s perfect pitch harmonizes with marginalized voices such as Nefer’s without ever reducing her to a victim. I often attempt to channel Gallardo’s quiet perceptiveness and rebellious prose.” — Maria Sonia Cristoff

“[January], along with Annie Erneaux’s vital book, Happening, and movies such as Portrait of a Lady on Fire, show us the importance of support, and the dangers that come when abortions are sought through sketchy means . . . I’m so grateful for the work Riddle and Shaughnessy have done on the translation. I recommend this book to everyone.” — Tracey Ann Thompson, California Reading

“Rightfully considered a masterpiece of Argentinean literature . . . a powerful examination of class, gender and societal pressure . . . A tour-de-force.” — Leo Boix, Morning Star

“Gallardo tells us an excellent story of an unfortunate young woman who, through no fault of her own, is pregnant and has no idea what to do or who to turn to for help.” The Modern Novel

“In less than 120 pages, January offers a vivid, internalized account of a young woman facing impossible odds. . . [January] shows a clear sensitivity to the social dynamics impacting disadvantaged rural communities and the suffocating influence of the Catholic mission churches. But beyond the constraints of her time, it is Nefer’s private horror, as reflected in her relationship to other people and to the natural environment, that makes this such a compelling—and timeless—read.” – Joseph Schreiber, Rough Ghosts

“The magnificent English-language debut from Argentine writer Gallardo (1931–1988), first published in 1958, portrays a 16-year-old girl’s dilemma after she gets pregnant . . . 
The subtle workings of the story cleverly mirror the characters’ euphemistic dialogue about pregnancy (a relative asks if Nefer’s recently married oldest sister is “in the family way”), and Gallardo’s restraint makes the occasional moments of swelling emotion even more powerful. This deserves to be a classic.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In 1958, when Sara Gallardo shared January with the world, it was the first Argentine novel to depict the topics of rape, pregnancy, and abortion in a feminist manner: from the perspective of the survivor. Today, Archipelago Books’ English edition, translated by Frances Riddle and Maureen Shaughnessy, will once again resonate with readers in our current turmoil around reproductive rights.” Gagosian Quarterly

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