DAUGHTERS OF THE AIR

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Lanternfish Press December 5, 2017

Tatiana “Pluta” Spektor was a mostly happy, if awkward, young girl—until her sociologist father was disappeared during Argentina’s Dirty War. Sent a world away by her grieving mother to attend boarding school outside New York City, Pluta wrestles alone with the unresolved tragedy and at last runs away: to the streets of Brooklyn in 1980, where she figuratively—and literally—spreads her wings. Told with haunting fabulist imagery by debut novelist Anca L. Szilágyi, this searing tale of love, loss, estrangement, and coming of age is an unflinching exploration of the personal devastation wrought by political repression.

 

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Advance Praise for Daughters of the Air

“Anca L. Szilágyi writes with an elegant economy that gives her work a moving urgency and a lushness that is uplifting. Crafting characters and moments of unexpected brilliance, Anca weaves narratives imbued with an original beauty. A pure delight.”

 CHRIS ABANI, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas and Sanctificum

“[Szilágyi’s] work is like a fairy tale—the sort of thing you’d find handwritten on a tiny scroll . . . under a mushroom in the middle of a forest on the longest day of the year.”

PAUL CONSTANT, The Seattle Review of Books

“A stunning portrait of a family torn apart by the nightmare of Argentina’s Dirty War. Deftly moving between a present in Brooklyn and a past in South America, Anca Szilágyi trains an unsparing eye on a mother and daughter whose complicated relationship with each other, their disappeared loved one, and their country brings richness and nuance to a story set against one of the twentieth century’s most devastating political tragedies. Compassionate, insightful, and written with extraordinary precision and grace, Daughters of the Air is a novel that will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page.”

JOAN LEEGANT, author of Wherever You Go and An Hour in Paradise

 “A riveting and magical lament – for childhood, for the lost, and for the disappeared. Szilágyi has written a heartbreaking pageturner, rich in history and humanity.”

SEAN MICHAELS, author of Us Conductors, winner of the Giller Prize 

“Simultaneously elegiac and remarkably propulsive, Daughters of the Air tells the story of Tatiana (aka Pluta) a girl attempting to break away from her past, while haunted by her father, who was “disappeared” by the Argentine government. The book offers a moving and memorable exploration of how  the traumas of history burrow into individuals and fester, sprouting strange and sometimes even lovely phenomena.”  

PETER MOUNTFORD, author of 
A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism and The Dismal Science

“Dirty—the war in Argentina. Dirty—the father’s disappearance. Dirty—the mother’s emotional withdrawal from her daughter. Dirty—the creaky Coney Island Wonder Wheel, the gritty New York City streets, and the polluted Gowanus Canal. Pluta, the teenage heroine of Daughters of the Air, flees from one dark place to others darker still, from one unfulfilled promise of escape to another. Yet, in art, in opera, in the lusciousness of Anca Szilágyi’s language, she soars.”

MAYA SONENBERG, author of
Voices from the Blue Hotel and Cartographies

 

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