Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes
The violent winds of misogyny and poverty tear through a small Mexican community, culminating in the murder of a local figure known as the The Witch. As the unvarnished voices of those involved rise to offer their account, a distressing and vivid picture emerges of a society in which the body is brutalised and hope of escape all but extinguished. Melchor pulls no punches, nor should she. This is necessarily unpalatable, visceral writing. Yet, despite being so marked by death, this book is full of life and poetry.
Loop by Brenda Lozano, translated from the Spanish by Annie McDermott
In the aftermath of an undisclosed accident, the narrator of Loop awaits the return of her lover, noting down her thoughts and experiences. A sort of modern day incarnation of Homer's Penelope, she weaves in references to Pessoa and Lispector, David Bowie and Shakira. A lamentation and love story in the form of a notebook, Loop is also a tribute to the useless, to the wasting of time and to the small acts of everyday life that, in a country beset by violence, offer up their own form of resistance.
Made in Saturn by Rita Indiana, translated from the Spanish by Sydney Hutchinson
Rita Indiana's Tentacle appeared in English in 2018 and delivered a shot of queer, Caribbean sci-fi straight into the veins of UK readers, swiftly establishing itself as a cult masterpiece. Made in Saturn might be lacking in magical sea anemones but it is none the less exhilarating for that. Laying bare the machinations of privilege, observing the ease with which ideals can be corrupted,Indiana's vision is as sharp as it is hip. The cities of Havana and Santo Domingo are here in all their complexity and vitality. Made in Saturn proves, once again, that nobody writes quite like Rita Indiana.
Dark Satelites by Clemens Meyer, translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire
These quiet and haunting narratives of the periphery, of small cities and even smaller towns, where the past weighs heavily, present a series of encounters in locations so humdrum, so everyday, that they're easily overlooked - burger bars, railway hair salons, the shared stairwells of high rises. Against the loneliness and melancholy, tender moments of connection and light flicker.