Blood Red

Gabriela Ponce


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Cinder House
18 January 2024
ISBN: 9781915368355
192 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Sarah Booker

‘We felt as if we were just one body—bone, blood, flesh—that momentarily splits apart to come back together, pulled by the irremediable need for touch.’

“Dark, beautiful, and a little disturbing.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This book is savage. Ponce’s prose is full of passion, that is, full of desire and pain. That’s why it feels so alive, like a bleeding heart pumping inside your head.” — Mónica Ojeda, author of Jawbone

“A raw, stream-of-consciousness novel that feels like putting Viriginia Woolf and Ottessa Moshfegh in a blender. The exhilarating English-language debut from celebrated Ecuadorian author Gabriela Ponce, Blood Red centers the female body in a radical exploration of desire, choice, and consequences.”  Book Culture

In a torrent of stream-of-consciousness fragments, the unnamed narrator of Blood Red recounts the aftermath of her failed marriage in explicit, sensual detail. She falls in and out of love, parties with her friends, skates around the city at night, does a lot of drugs, and gives in to her impulses. Her internal monologue is punctuated by bouts of trypophobia, an obsessive cataloguing of holes that empty, fill, widen, and threaten to swallow her entirely.

Blood courses through her every encounter from periods, fights, accidents, wounds, sex, streaming to and from her fixation with holes. Blood is a vibrant reminder of her physicality, a manifestation of her interiority, a link to memories and sensations—until its abrupt absence changes everything.

Provocative and raw, Blood Red is a fierce portrayal of a woman navigating the grey—or red—zones of her uncertainties and paradoxical urges. A subversive grappling with what it means to wrest power over one’s body, Blood Red revels in the narrator’s autonomy to make choices and face the outcomes, no matter the scale.