Left Parenthesis


by Muriel Villanueva

August 16, 2022
novel | pb | 96 pgs.
5" x 8"


The narrator of this novel, a writer, arrives by train at Casetes Beach with her month-old daughter on her back. She prepares to spend a few weeks in one of the cottages by the sand. Her husband has recently passed away and she needs to open the parenthesis of her life: to forget something, and to discover something else. But the appearance of an overly assertive starfish precedes a series of disturbing events, and as the narrator begins to lose a hold on reality, we are immersed in the uncertain territory of allegory.

With a lively and direct style and overwhelming poetic force, Muriel Villanueva guides us through the daily motions of life, and at the same time a fantastic journey of a woman in search of her own maturity.

Translated from the Catalan by Megan Berkobien and María Cristina Hall
Illustrations by Aitana Carrasco 



About the Author: 

Muriel Villanueva (Valencia, 1976) is a writer of novels, short stories, poetry and children's and youth literature. She has a degree in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature from the University of Barcelona, as well as a diploma in Music Education from the University of Valencia. In addition to writing, she also teaches courses in writing and is a music teacher. Her latest publications have been La gateraMotril 86Dunadiario d'un estiu, and the trilogy L'Esfera.She has received several awards, including the JM Casero Award, the Valencian Writers' Critics Award, and The Talúries Poetry Award.


About the Translators: 

Megan Berkobien holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the same university, where she founded the school's undergraduate translation journal, Canon Translation Review. She has worked as an assistant editor for the online magazine Asymptote as well as an editorial intern for Words Without Borders and Open Letter Books. Her translations have been published in Words Without Borders, B O D Y, Palabras Errantes, Asymptote, and Catch & Release. She was chosen as an ALTA Fellow for the 2014 Annual Conference.

María Cristina Hall is a Mexican-American poet, translator, and immigration activist. She has a bachelor's in creative writing and political science from Columbia University and a master's in translation studies from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. A Catalan and Spanish translator, she currently works at Institut Ramon Llull's office in New York City. Her translations can be found in Words Without Borders, Loch Raven Review, and Alchemy. Her poetry can be found in Sea Foam Mag, Leveler, The Fem, Reservoir, Apogee, and Brokn English.