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