Translated by Frances Riddle.
The slums of Buenos Aires, the government, the mafia, the Virgin Mary, corrupt police officers, prostitutes, transvestites, thieves, drug dealers, cumbia music and debauchery all combine in this sweeping novel.
Slum Virgin tells the larger-than-life story of Cleopatra, a transvestite who renounces prostitution after the Virgin Mary appears before her. Following the divine messages she receives, Cleo takes charge of the shantytown she lives in, transforming it into a tiny utopia. Ambitious journalist Quity knows she's found the story of the year when she hears about it, but her life is changed forever once she steps into the shantytown and finds herself irrevocably seduced by the captivating subject of her article.
The densely-packed, fast-paced prose, which weaves together everyday speech, shantytown slang and classical references, pulls the reader into the story immediately. The author turns phrases with dexterity, refusing to whitewash the reality of the poor and downtrodden, and jumping deftly from tragedy to biting comedy in a way that has the reader laughing out loud.
Paperback / 147 pages