The Adventures of China Iron (Paperback)
  • The Adventures of China Iron (Paperback)

The Adventures of China Iron (Paperback)

(author), (translator), (translator)
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Paperback 188 Pages / Published: 14/11/2019
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Waterstones Says

Moving through the Argentine Pampas like a storm, The Adventures of China Iron charts the spellbinding journey of its eponymous protagonist, the abandoned wife of La Gaucho Martín Fierro, with her newly found friend and lover Liz. Riotous, fierce and unflinching, Camara’s feminist, LGBT and postcolonial take on the characters of Hernández’s epic poem sets some severe literary and historical wrongs to right in this razor-sharp, exceptional piece of literary fiction.

Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020

A riotous romp taking the reader from the frontier culture of the pampas deep into indigenous territories. It charts the adventures of China Iron, Martín Fierros abandoned wife, in her travels across the pampas in a wagon with her new-found friend and lover, Liz.

While Liz provides China with a sentimental education and schools her in the nefarious ways of the British Empire, their eyes are opened to the wonders of Argentinas richly diverse flora and fauna, cultures and languages, as well as to its struggles. After a clash with Colonel Hernández (the author who stole Martín Fierros poems) and a drunken orgy with gauchos, they eventually find refuge and a peaceful future in an utopian indigenous community.

The narrative moves through the Argentinian landscape, charting the flora and fauna of the Pampas, Gaucho culture, Argentinian nation-building and British colonial projects.

In a unique reformulation of history and literary tradition, Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, with humour and sophistication, re-writes Martín Fierro from a feminist, LGBT, postcolonial point of view. She creates a hilarious novel that is nevertheless incisive in its criticism of the way societies come into being, and the way they venerate mythical heroes.

Publisher: Charco Press
ISBN: 9781916465664
Number of pages: 188
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


International Booker Prize (Shortlist)

"A thrilling and mystical miniature epic." -The Guardian

"[The Adventures of China Iron] reminds us, in Cabezon Camara's entrancing poetry, how magical and frankly unpleasant it is to live through history." -New York Times

"[The Adventures of China Iron] compels readers to examine critically not only the biases of the myths we celebrate, but also how they seep into our contemporary understandings of nationhood." -LA Review of Books

"Brilliantly translated by Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre, this is a heartfelt, dreamlike paean to Argentina's past and what might have been had the pampas been left alone." -The Times Literary Supplement

"Cabezon Camara's exciting LGBTQ look at pioneers of the pampas makes for a rewarding and subversive treat." -Publishers Weekly

"Shaking loose new possibilities for how we might reshape the present precisely by unsettling something seemingly so settled as the past." -Music & Literature

"Daring." -The Financial Times

"A daring, playful story." -New Statesman

"A wonderful reading experience, filled with light, joy, discovery, friendship, and love." -The Massachusetts Review

"An unexpected ride that delivers on all accounts." -DIVA Magazine

"By disrupting pedagogical nationalist representations, Camara's story enables all those places in the margins to re-signify constructs of the Argentine people." -Wasafiri

Best books published in Latin America 2017. -New York Times (Espanol)

"A transformative adventure, wholly romantic and sublime, at times even supernatural in its message of discovery." -Books and Bao

"A thrilling book that has a little of everything that I look for in a novel." -SubText

"10 Best Translated Books 2019" -Books and Bao

Globetrotting: Your sneak preview of books in translation -New York Times

"It's moving and intelligent and funny and all of it is fun (so much fun)." -Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore

"Best books dealing with feminism, sisterhood and queerness" -Pagina/12

"With a touch of whimsy, 'The Adventures of China Iron' rewrites a historical narrative and renders spaces inclusive." -Daily Star

"Best Books of 2017" -Los inRockuptibles

"20 Best Latin American books 2017" -El Pais

Praise for Gabriela Cabezon Camara

Silverio Canada Memorial Prize (Shortlist)

"Queer writing at its most exhilarating." -The Times Literary Supplement

"Camara's breakout tale is mind-blowingly good." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A revelation for contemporary literature."" -Andres Neuman, author of TRAVELLER OF THE CENTURY and TALKING TO OURSELVES

Globetrotting: Your sneak preview of books in translation -New York Times

"Camara has a powerful voice, one to be taken seriously." -Library Journal

"Cabezon Camara's exuberant range of styles truly shines." -Asymptote

"Book of the Year 2009." -Rolling Stone (Argentina)


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“I won't read this book only once...”

This is a retelling of Martín Fierro, Argentina’s most fundamental epic poem about a Gaucho and his travels. Although a very small and almost insignificant part of the story, he wins a 14-year-old girl playing cards,... More

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