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Unexplained blood stains appear in a young couple’s apartment; a disembodied hand is found in a rubbish dump; political prisoners resort to horrific measures in order to make a point.

In this brilliant new collection of stories, Alberto Barrera Tyszka casts an eye on the violence that afflicts Latin America, and in particular its intimate effects on the individuals who suffer and inflict it.

Mixing the surreal with the quotidian, the banal with the unspeakable, Tyszka has created a fragmentary panorama of man’s misdeeds against his own kind. These windingly elliptical stories are ceaselessly surprising, and will bury themselves into your subconscious long after the final page is turned.


The Sickness is refreshingly clean in its storytelling yet very complex in character
Andrew Furey, Times Literary Supplement
Tyszka is a perceptive, original writer. He has brought an unusually sophisticated understanding to a wonderfully intense, little novel
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
The Sickness promises to place Tyszka at the front rank of new Latin American writers, and . . . establishes him with a claim to be the Venezuelan Ian McEwan
Booktrust Translated Fiction