Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes) - review by Daniel Baksi

Daniel Baksi

Stormy Weather

Hurricane Season

By

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‘Catastrophic damage will occur’: so reads the impact assessment attached to the fifth and highest category on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, the metric used to classify the intensity of tropical cyclones across the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans. It is a warning that might just as well appear on the cover of Hurricane Season, the second novel by Mexican author Fernanda Melchor, and the first to be translated into English. Its long, freewheeling sentences chronicle an unrelenting process of destruction that rips through the village of La Matosa, situated in the rural hinterlands of Melchor’s birth state of Veracruz.

A journalist and writer, Melchor has based her novel’s structure on that of Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981), reconstructing the events leading up to the murder of a local witch, whose decomposing corpse is discovered in a waterway before the end of Hurricane Season’s

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