Fury: A Novel (Paperback)
February 2024 Indie Next List
“I was consumed by this novel. This book is consistently shifting and moving. It is stunning what Mendoza has achieved here. I will be haunted by these characters and story for days.”
— Oscar Almonte Espinal, Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books, Philadelphia, PA
In this debut novel, Clyo Mendoza, a young, award-winning Mexican poet and novelist, weaves together multiple narratives into a lyrical, shape-shifting existential reflection on love, violence, and the power of myth.
“Fury has the poetic and wild force of the desert. In its pages there is tenderness, fear and forceful, rhythmic writing with images that are difficult to forget. It is about the violence of desire that turns us into dogs that drool, howl and bite, but also about love in the midst of hostility and helplessness. This is why it is a disturbing and, at the same time, deeply moving novel.” —Mónica Ojeda
"A beguiling and enticing fever dream of sex and violence in the Mexican desert. . . . This is impossible to put down." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
In a desert dotted with war-torn towns, Lázaro and Juan are two soldiers from opposing camps who abandon the war and, while fleeing, become lovers and discover a dark truth. Vicente Barrera, a salesman who swept into the lives of women who both hated and revered him, spends his last days tied up like a mad dog. A morgue worker, Salvador, gets lost in the desert and hallucinating from heat and thirst, mistakes the cactus for the person he loves. Over the echoes of the stories of these broken men—and of their mothers, lovers and companions—Mendoza explores her characters’ passions in a way that simmers on the page, and then explodes with pain, fear and desire in a landscape that imprisons them.
After winning the International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Poetry Prize, Clyo Mendoza has written a novel of extraordinary beauty where language embarks on a hallucinatory trip through eroticism, the transitions of conscience, and the possibility of multiple beings inhabiting a single body. In this journey through madness, incest, sexual abuse, infidelity, and silence, Fury offers a moving questioning of the complexity of love and suffering. The desert is where these characters' destinies become intertwined, where their wounds are inherited and bled dry. Readers will be blown away by the sensitivity of the writing, and will shudder at the way violence conveyed with a poetic forcefulness and a fierce mastery of the Mexican oral tradition.
"An amazing, hypnotic and beautiful novel, like contemplating the desert." —Juan Pablo Villalobos
About the Author
Clyo Mendoza (Oaxaca, México, 1993) is a poet and novelist. She is the author of the poetry collections Anamnesis (2016) and Silencio (2018), which was awarded the Premio Internacional de Poesía Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and the novel Furia (2021), which was awarded the Premio Javier Morote by the Confederación Española de Gremios y Asociaciones de Libreros and the Amazon Premio Primera Novela. She has contributed to numerous poetry anthologies, including Poetas parricidas (Cuadrivio, 2014), Los reyes Subterráneos: Veinte poetas jóvenes de México (La Bella Varsovia, 2015), and Liberoamericanas: 80 poetas contemporáneas(Liberoamérica, 2018). Mendoza is the recipient of scholarships from the Mexican Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes and the Fundación Antonio Gala, in Córdoba, Spain. She has also collaborated on various transdisciplinary projects and experiments with painting, photography, and sound collage.
Christina MacSweeney has an MA in Literary Translation from the University of East Anglia. Her work has been recognized in a number of important awards. Her translation of Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth was awarded the 2016 Valle Inclán Translation Prize and also shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award (2017). Her most recent translations include fiction and nonfiction works by Daniel Saldaña París, Elvira Navarro, Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Julián Herbert, Karla Suárez, and Jazmina Barrera, whose autobiographical text, Linea Nigra, was a double finalist in the NBCC awards (translation and autobiography). She has also contributed to anthologies of Latin American literature and published translations, articles, and interviews on a variety of platforms.
"Leavened by a wonderful imagistic sensibility . . .impressive"—Pablo Scheffer, Telegraph
“I loved the churning gyre of Fury, an enigmatic and audacious novel that proves the truest stories aren't told, they're repeated.” —Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X
“Fury has the poetic and savage force of the desert. Its pages are full of tenderness, fear, and a persuasive, rhythmic prose with unforgettable images. It deals with the violence of desire that turns us into drooling, howling dogs that bite, but also with love amidst hostility and neglect. That makes it an unsettling and, at the same time, profoundly moving novel.” —Mónica Ojeda, author of Jawbone
"Drawing on the language of cinema and oral history, Mendoza debuts with a beguiling and enticing fever dream of sex and violence in the Mexican desert. . . . Mendoza’s depictions of her troubled characters’ inner lives are as indelible as her monstrous visions. This is impossible to put down." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“By tracing the genealogical tree that intertwines the fates of Juan and Lázaro, eternal soldiers in a phantasmagoric limbo of the Mexican Revolution, and a handful of women, whose bodies and loves mutate though they remain as powerful as vengeance, Clyo Mendoza introduces us to dozens of stories of sex, hatred, abandonment, and magic, narrated and deformed by the potent oral traditions that influence the language she conjures to render the ghosts real; it is the hallucinatory and brutal language of the desert.” —Dolores Reyes, author of Eartheater
“An astonishing, hypnotic, and beautiful novel, like contemplating the desert.” —Juan Pablo Villalobos, author of Invasion of the Spirit People
“There is something timeless about Clyo Mendoza’s Fury. It has the music of Scheherazade’s stories, and it tells of an ageless desert and an ageless violence that gives birth to itself with every new generation. It touched upon an open wound in Mexico, and I’m sure that readers everywhere will be enthralled by its power.” —Jazmina Barrera, author of Linea Nigra and On Lighthouses
“I kept thinking of Kathy Acker as I read Clyo Mendoza's brilliant fever dream of a novel, Fury, but also of Juan Rulfo and Alejandro Jodorowsky. It's weird, gorgeous, shocking and gentle, more or less all at once, and Christina MacSweeney's translation brings it burning across into English with tremendous aplomb.” —Laird Hunt, author of Zorrie
"Reading Fury felt like being submerged in a whirlpool of haunting myths, fever dreams, and viscerally real violence—all circling a vortex of damnation. Both bold and exquisite, it’s a remarkable debut novel and one I’ll surely be thinking about for years to come." —Adrienne Ramm, King’s Bookstore, Tacoma, WA
“A stunning debut novel delivered in short chapters with writing that goes from raw to endearing in a flash. This dreamscape of love, death, lust, suffering and eroticism is filled with plot twists and reveals at a relentless pace all the way to the end. It's a dark world in which social structures seem to have collapsed.” —Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
“I found myself audibly gasping and missing train stops. Fury is storytelling at its finest, the kind of book that immerses you completely.” —Mandy McClintock, Greenlight Books, Brooklyn, NY
“Fury by Clyo Mendoza is a literary masterpiece that will leave readers breathless. Its exploration of the human psyche, masterful storytelling, and exquisite prose make it a must-read. This novel is not just a story but an experience — a journey through the deepest recesses of the human heart. Mendoza has written a book and crafted a work of art that will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned.” —Orsayor L. Simmons, Toledo Public Library, Toledo, Ohio
"Fury was so different from anything I normally read. You can tell the author is a poet since her words draw you in and float you along this psychedelic road. This is a book that will stay in my mind for quite some time." —Kelley Q. Clemente, Prince William Public Libraries, Montclair, Virginia
“The most hallucinating, mind-bending, spectral Mexican novel since Pedro Páramo. People should read every book Seven Stories publishes and every book translated by Christina Macsweeney. A real gem.” —Ezra Fitz, Spring Hill Public Library