Things We Lost in the Fire

Mariana Enriquez

Published: 6 April 2017
Trade Paperback, Demy PB
135x216mm, 208 pages
ISBN: 9781846276347

Other Editions


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Published: 4 October 2018
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 208 pages
ISBN: 9781846276361

Ebook Available


A woman returns to the rundown suburb of Buenos Aires her family once called home. From the safety of her window, she watches as a teenage prostitute raises her five-year-old son on the street. They sleep outside, surrounded by pimps and addicts, psychopaths and dealers, worshippers of the occult and corrupt police.

One day, the mother and the dirty kid are gone, and the dismembered body of a child is found in the neighbourhood. Is the murder part of a satanic ritual, or a gangland killing? Could it be the dirty kid, and if so, is his mother a victim too; or an accomplice; or his killer?

Thrilling and terrifying, The Things We Lost in the Fire takes the reader into a world of Argentine Gothic: of sharp-toothed children; of women racked by desire; of demons who lurk beneath the river; of stolen skulls and secrets half-buried under Argentina's terrible dictatorship; of men imprisoned in their marriages, whose only path out lies in the flames.

About the author


Things We Lost in the Fire [...] captures the spirit of the author's home country... A detailed cultural portrait and a blend of realistic fiction and fantasy, the stories feature spirits and murders, marriages happy and sad, friendships and heartaches, all against the backdrop of past and present Argentina... The author picks apart the intricacies of human relationships and lays them out on the page in a manner that is simple, but delicate... The collection is a meditation on the power of people; not only does Enriquez ask how childhood, teenage, and adult friendships work, but why they all matter... A thorough exploration of the human condition, Things We Lost in the Fire is eerie and unsettling, but strangely comfortable at the same time... This brave collection will not get lost in the fire. It will rise far above the flames’ Alice Kouzmenko



A mesmerizing writer who demands to be read. Like Bolaño, she is interested matters of life and death, and her fiction hits with the force of a freight trainDave Eggers, author

Beautiful but savage... [Enriquez] gives the best horror stories a run for their money... It reminded me most strongly of Daphne du Maurier's terrifying Don't Look Now... This is the best short story collection I have read this yearLucy Scholes

Propulsive and mesmerizing

Slim but phenomenal... these stories set into the reader's mind like a jet stone, sparkling through all that darkness’

Stylish and compelling... [Full of] claustrophobic terror... a powerful and humane visionLuke Brown

Teeming with death, sex and the macabre, this short-story collection by one of Argentina's rising literary talents might best be described as Buenos Aires gothic’ Angel Gurría-Quintana

The only book that's ever left me afraid to turn out the lights... mercilessly incisive and deeply creepy

These spookily clear-eyed, elementally intense stories are the business. I find myself no more able to defend myself from their advances than Enríquez's funny, brutal, bruised characters are able to defend themselves from life as it's lived’ Helen Oyeyemi, author

‘An utterly brilliant measure of deep existential terror ... you [will] return home looking pale and hauntedBest Summer Reads

‘Enríquez's brilliance is to [...] increase the feeling of unease when reading these sensitive stories in their often macabre settings... McDowell convincingly argues that the violence Enríquez portrays is the heritage of a country that lived under dictatorships in the years before she was born’ Sarah Curtis

‘Enriquez scratches satisfyingly at Argentina's underbelly’

‘Enriquez's exquisite short stories [are] unsettling and haunting, [...] engaging and compelling. The author has the knack of knowing exactly when each story should be broken off, leaving the reader pondering but also greedy to start the next’

‘Enriquez's stories are not only supremely important, but addictive and joyfully grotesque... Born from the scars of a nation, they will leave a lasting mark on youAlan Bett


‘In Mariana Enriquez's stories, horror seeps subtly into everyday events... Fiction doesn't get much better than thisJohn Ajvide Lindqvist, author

‘It seems wrong, somehow to call this grouping of Mariana Enríquez's stories a collection. There is nothing collected about these stories. These stories unsettle; they disturb; they disquiet. Read them!’ Kelly Link, author

‘Many of us have long looked up to Mariana Enríquez, one of the great talents of the new literature from Argentina. Possibly the most intimate one. Her writing is a prodigious blend which reimagines certain traditions under that dreadful clarity we identify as an author's voice. Sharp and intricate, her genre awareness is deserving of nothing but my admiration. Sharing her work is great cause for celebration’ Andrés Neuman

‘When I read Mariana Enríquez's stories, I forget where I am. I miss my subway stop. I hold my breath. Her fiction is that pulse-racingly superb, that electric and original. Mariana Enríquez is an essential voice in contemporary fiction, and The Things We Lost in the Fire will be a sensation’ Laura van den Berg, author

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