The Queens of Sarmiento Park
Camila Sosa Villada
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From the publisher
Translated by Kit Maude
‘Every so often, a slim book absolutely clobbers you with its exuberance and beauty – for me, this was that book’ Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
‘A beautiful novel, moving, disturbing, raw and honest’ Fernanda Melchor, author of Hurricane Season
‘Fun, tragic, political and full of marvel … It will break your heart and at the same time make you want to laugh and dance’ Mariana Enriquez
Auntie Encarna’s is the queerest boarding house in the world.
For Camila, it is a refuge, and the raggle-taggle band of queens who gather there are like family. At night they dress up and head out to Sarmiento Park to earn money. They stand together in the cold, sharing stories and a hip flask of whiskey, waiting for a car to slow down.
Until, one freezing evening, Auntie Encarna hears crying in the bushes and wades in to investigate. When she finds an abandoned baby boy, she will hear no arguments: she is bringing him home to care for him. Life for Camila and the others will never be the same again.
With a cast of larger-than-life, unforgettable characters, The Queens of Sarmiento Park combines brutal, unflinching realism with flourishes of surrealism to tell a story about the clash of hope with prejudice and fear. Wildly imaginative, darkly funny and devastatingly sad, it is a queer fairy tale about sex work, gender identity and chosen family; an anguished howl of pain and rage; and an unruly hymn to love and care on the outskirts of society.