Magazine article New Internationalist

Natural Selection

Magazine article New Internationalist

Natural Selection

Article excerpt

Natural Selection by Cecilia Szperling translated from the Spanish by Oscar Luna (Aflame Books ISBN 9/81906300081)

The central characters in Cecilia Szperling's novel are not easy to warm to. Ernestina, Cosme and Pablo are middle-class Argentineans unable to find their role in a system that is disintegrating, both economically and morally, and turning on itself. They are art school dropouts, spoilt, corrupt and drug-addled; plugging themselves into the trashiest elements of popular culture and imagining their self-indulgence to be an art form, they drift through their days at the margins of society, expecting nothing and contributing nothing.

The book begins with a vicious assault on Ernestina's affluent, conformist sister, Emma, by Cosme and Pablo. This almost-motiveless act of violence resonates through the narrative and sets the tone of random brutality justified as self-expression. …

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