American Delirium: Book summary and reviews of American Delirium by Betina González

American Delirium

by Betina González

American Delirium by Betina González X
American Delirium by Betina González
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2021
    224 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From award-winning novelist Betina González, American Delirium is a dizzying, luminous English-language debut about an American town overrun by a mysterious hallucinogen and the collision of three unexpected characters' lives through the mayhem.

First, in a small Midwestern city, the deer population starts attacking people. So Beryl, a feisty senior with a troubled past, decides to take matters into her own hands, training a squad of fellow retirees to hunt the animals down and reclaim their own vitality.

At the same time, a group of protesters decides to abandon the "system" and live in the woods, leaving their children and all responsibility behind. Berenice never thought her mother would join the "dropouts," but she's been gone for several days, and the only clue to what might have happened to her is hidden somewhere in her old scrapbook.

Vik, a taxidermist at the natural history museum and an immigrant from the Caribbean, is beginning to see the connections between the dropouts, the deer, and the discord. But he's not about to act on his suspicions―he knows he would somehow be the one to go to jail. Each of these heartfelt and engrossing characters struggles to see their place in a society full of contradictions, but they ultimately rescue one another in surprising ways.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This has the makings of a zany psychedelic romp, but instead the delirium is marvelously controlled and administered in doses just potent enough to ease patient readers into this off-kilter world. González's distorted utopian vision is a memorable trip." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An uncategorizable novel that manages to be both zany and profound." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Betina Gonzalez writes with tremendous verve. What a sharp, audacious novel about the escalating delirium of our current era. Heather Cleary's translation recreates the quicksilver scenes of American Delirium with superb artistry." - Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew

"This is a beautiful and ruthless novel that asks readers to dive into it with their whole selves, to see themselves in its violence and its flickers of hope. It is, like few are, a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it." - Yuri Herrera, author of Signs Preceding the End of the World, winner of the 2016 Best Translated Book Award

"Betina Gonzalez has created a gorgeous novel where the real and the mystical walk hand in hand, and occasionally give each other a sharp jab. The book's interwoven storylines delve not only into the world of botanical psychedelics, but into the psychedelia of ordinary life—the surrealism of aging, the hallucinatory nature of desire, the hauntings of love and loneliness and death. As Gonzalez's characters navigate a world where plants inspire revolution and animals are possessed by homicidal rage, they ask us to consider whether human beings are perhaps the least natural creatures this planet has to offer." - Anjali Sachdeva, author of All the Names They Used for God

"With [González's] capacity to inform, her sense of analysis, of proportion, of measure, of the balance of something so complex as a novel, I predict a bright future for her." - Nobel laureate José Saramago

This information about American Delirium shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Betina González is the bestselling author of several novels and short story collections, for which she has won several awards, including the prestigious Premio Tusquets. American Delirium is her first book to be published in English. González earned her MFA in bilingual creative writing at the Univeristy of Texas at El Paso and her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in Buenos Aires and teaches at the University of Buenos Aires and New York University Buenos Aires.

Heather Cleary is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Sarah Lawrence College, USA. Her research on contemporary Latin American culture and the theory and practice of translation has appeared in journals including Hispanic Review and Mutatis Mutandis. She has also published seven books in translation, including two books by Sergio Chejfec, The Dark (2013), which was shortlisted for the National Translation Award, and The Planets (2015), which was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award.

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