Amparo Dávila

Amparo Dávila

Amparo Dávila was born in Mexico in 1928. She has published several collections of short stories and for a time worked as Alfonso Reyes’s secretary. In recent years a massive resurgence of interest has acknowledged her as one of Mexico’s finest masters of the short story. Awarded the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize in 1977, she was honored with the Medalla Bellas Artes in 2015.

The Houseguest

Fiction by Amparo Dávila

Translated from the Spanish by Audrey Harris Matthew Gleeson

Like those of Kafka, Poe, Leonora Carrington, or Shirley Jackson, Amparo Dávila’s stories are terrifying, mesmerizing, and expertly crafted—you’ll finish each one gasping for air. With acute psychological insight, Dávila follows her characters to the limits of desire, paranoia, insomnia, and fear. She is a writer obsessed with obsession, who makes nightmares come to life through the everyday: loneliness sinks in easily like a razor-sharp knife, some sort of evil lurks in every shadow, delusion takes the form of strange and very real creatures.…
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Readers of Dávila’s stories find it difficult, perhaps impossible, to forget them.
—Margaret Randall, * World Literature Today *
Like Poe for the new millennium.
It’s a thrill to find that the rumors about Amparo Dávila’s stories are utterly true. In barely seven pages, The Houseguest, her titular tale, distills fear and madness into an iconic horror story. While her work inevitably attracts comparisons to Leonora Carrington, Edgar Allan Poe, and Shirley Jackson, Dávila is a singular talent.
—Stephanie Valdez, Co-owner of Community Bookstore
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