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ORNAMENTAL

Juan Cárdenas

  • Original Title: ORNAMENTO
  • Publication date: February 2015
  • Publisher: Periférica
  • Country: CO
  • 176 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Themes: FAMILY, Couple, Dysfunctional family, Maternity, Filiation, PEOPLE facing life, Dependence, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Psychological dysfunction, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, LOVE / HATE, Sex, Obsession

Pitch

A new recreational drug is being developed that affects women only. The narrator of the book is the director of the clinic where it has been developed and he is running a trial with four participants. One of them reacts very differently to the others and he becomes obsessed with her, intellectually and sexually.

Comments

Translation rights sold: US

Juan Cárdenas (born 1978) is a Colombian art critic, curator, translator and writer. In 2014, his novel LOS ESTRATOS received the Otras Voces Otros Ámbitos Prize. In 2017, he was named by the Hay Festival in Bogotá as one of the 39 best Latin American writers under the age of 39. He coordinates the Masters Program in Creative Writing at the Caro y Cuervo Institute in Bogotá, where he works as professor and researcher.

Summary

A scientist recruits volunteers for the trial of a new recreational drug that exclusively affects women. Among them is “number 4,” who becomes emotionally involved with first the scientist, then his wife, a well-known visual artist in the midst of a creative crisis. The scientist is oblivious to the atrocities his new drug will bring to the city; his wife is oblivious to the superfluousness of the objects she committed her life to exhibiting in galleries and museums. Number 4’s presence pierces the couple’s complacency, gradually undoing the many certainties they’ve accumulated in their lives of ease.

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  • Author’s biography

    Juan Cárdenas (born 1978) is a Colombian art critic, curator, translator and author of the novels ZUMBIDO (2010), LOS ESTRATOS (2013), ORNAMENTO (2015), TU Y YO, UNA NOVELITA RUSA (2016) and EL DIABLO DE LAS PROVINCIAS (2017). He has translated the works of writers such as William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Gordon Lish, David Ohle, J. M. Machado de Assis and Eça de Queirós. In 2014, his novel LOS ESTRATOS received the Otras Voces Otros Ámbitos Prize. In 2017, he was named by the Hay Festival in Bogotá as one of the 39 best Latin American writers under the age of 39. He coordinates the Masters Program in Creative Writing at the Caro y Cuervo Institute in Bogotá, where he works as professor and researcher.