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Seven Empty Houses

Winner of the National Book Award for Translated Literature, 2022

Translated by Megan McDowell
Published by Oneworld Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

* An Oprah Daily Book of 2022 *

A blazing new story collection that will make you feel like the house is collapsing in on you, from the three-time International Booker Prize finalist, 'lead[ing] a vanguard of Latin American writers forging their own 21st-century canon.' -O, the Oprah magazine

The world of Samanta Schweblin's short stories is dark and destabilising. Here, home is not a place of safety but the site of hidden danger, silent menace, unspoken resentment. Picture-perfect doors and spotless windows conceal lives in disarray, slowly unraveling in the face of obsession and fear, jealousy and desire.

Unsettling, exhilarating and fiercely original, these prizewinning stories expose raw and uncomfortable truths about the people and places we think will keep us safe, and ask what happens when that promise proves empty.

'Darker and more tinged with terror than her breakthrough novel, Fever Dream, this is Schweblin at her sharpest and most ferocious.' New York Times Book Review

About The Author

Samanta Schweblin is the author of three story collections and two novels, which have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Juan Rulfo Story Prize, and been translated into twenty languages. Her debut novel Fever Dream was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017, and her short-story collection Seven Empty Houses won the National Book Award for Translated Literature 2022. Originally from Buenos Aires, she lives in Berlin.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (October 18, 2022)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861544332

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Raves and Reviews

'Both noirish and sinister, with violence broiling beneath the calm... Schweblin, at her best, has a knack for eeriness.'

– Sunday Telegraph

'[Schweblin's] particular genius lies in the fact that there’s something inherently savage and ungovernable about her work.'

– Financial Times

'A quiet, off-centre gem... Disquieting and dark it may be, but it is lifted with sly humour and sharp observation.'

– Marie Claire

'The Argentine writer Samanta Schweblin loves Franz Kafka and Elizabeth Strout. It’s hard to conceive of two more different writers. But imagine a fusion between their styles — dreamlike surrealism and taut domestic drama — and you’ll have some idea of Schweblin’s uniquely weird storyscapes.'

– The Sunday Times

'Schweblin seems capable above all else of helping us reconsider what stories can be while always making them feel tense, uncomfortable, exhilarating.'

– Los Angeles Times

'Schweblin’s characters lose themselves in webs of greed, loss and violence, and their unsettling tales remind us that we are all shaped by the physical spaces that we inhabit and come from.’

– Monocle

'Seven Empty Houses... takes aim at the place we feel safest: home. Darker and more tinged with terror than her breakthrough novel, Fever Dream, this is Schweblin at her sharpest and most ferocious.'

– New York Times Book Review

'Samanta Schweblin writes at the very end of the possible. Her stories are mesmerising, exquisitely crafted and deeply unsettling. Each sentence is as precise and invasive as an expertly wielded scalpel.'

– Jan Carson, author of The Raptures

‘These seven eerie, uneasy stories seem peculiarly pertinent to the present post-pandemic financial crisis mood of uncertainty… the stories may be spare and pared back, but their cumulative effect is a heightened sense of fear and a disrupted sense of safety.’

– Daily Mail

‘These curiously addictive, tightly wound stories are as compelling as they are alienating... An original and provoking contribution to the literature of unease.’

– Guardian

'Seven Empty Houses sneaks dread like a cursed gift through its pages. In Megan McDowell's translation from the original Spanish, Schweblin's prose is pared to a fine edge… The collection's power is in its capacity to speak to the danger that is waiting, if you would only peer in through the keyhole.'

– Big Issue

'Schweblin's newest collection may be her most unsettling... Spectacular and strange... The most disquieting realization of all is perhaps the fact that any of these scenarios could arrive at any moment.'

– Washington Post

'Uniquely satisfying.'

– LitHub

'The Argentinian author of Fever Dream deftly manipulates expectations in stories of secrets and buried resentments... Part of the pleasure of Schweblin's fictions is how she subverts expectations... Her fractured worlds make compelling reading.'

– Observer

'Savage and surreal, the inhabitants of these fictions are on a journey deep into the self – but what they discover is not what they, or the reader might expect... Schweblin’s narrators are gloriously unreliable; her stories have the scope of cinema.'

– The Irish Times

'The sinuous, sinister tales that make up Seven Empty Houses are set in the intimate sphere, precisely where we might expect to feel most protected. But the houses of the title are not homes, and some of them do not even belong to their occupants... Marvellously apprehensive.'


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