The Mutations

The Mutations

A Novel

Jorge Comensal, Charlotte Whittle

$11.99

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Description

"Jorge Comensal's The Mutations oscillates masterfully between comedy and tragedy, gathering up in its pages a stupendous panoply of characters before whom the reader is never sure whether to smile in sympathy or pity."—Fernando Aramburu, author of Homeland

Ramón Martinez is a militant atheist, successful lawyer, and conventional family man. But all of that changes when cancer of the tongue deprives him of the source of his power and livelihood: speech.

The Mutations, by Jorge Comensal, is a comedy tracing the metastasis of Ramón’s cancer through his body and in the lives of his family members, colleagues, and doctors, dissecting the experience of illness and mapping the relationships both strengthened and frayed by its wake. Mateo and Paulina, his teenage children, struggle with the temptations of masturbation and binge eating, respectively. Ramón’s melancholic oncologist is haunted by the memory of a young patient whom he was unable to save. His selfish pathologist believes Ramón’s tumor holds the key to a major scientific breakthrough. And then there’s Elodia, Ramón’s pious maid, who brings him a foulmouthed parrot as a birthday gift. This lewd bird becomes Ramón’s companion, confidant, and unlikely double.

Paying homage to the works of forebears such as Sontag, Didion, Flaubert, and Tolstoy, and filled with a rough-hewn poetry of regret, rage, and finally resignation, The Mutations offers a profound but funny cross section of modern Mexican life, as well as a bold treatment of an unspeakable yet universal reality


Author

Jorge Comensal:

Jorge Comensal was born in Mexico City in 1987. He has received grants from the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas and the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes. His work has appeared in Letras Libres, Este País, Nexos, Revista de la Universidad de México, VICE, and The Literary Review, and his essay Yonquis de las letras was published in Spain in 2017. The Mutations is his first novel.

Charlotte Whittle is a writer and translator. Her work has appeared in The Literary Review, Guernica, BOMB, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. Her translation of Norah Lange’s People in the Room was published in 2018. She lives in New York and is an editor at Cardboard House Press.




Jorge Comensal was born in Mexico City in 1987. He has received grants from the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas and the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes. His work has appeared in Letras Libres, Este País, Nexos, Revista de la Universidad de México, VICE, and The Literary Review, and his essay Yonquis de las letras was published in Spain in 2017. The Mutations is his first novel.

Charlotte Whittle is a writer and translator. Her work has appeared in The Literary Review, Guernica, BOMB, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. Her translation of Norah Lange’s People in the Room was published in 2018. She lives in New York and is an editor at Cardboard House Press.

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