Gerardo Sámano Córdova’s dark, soulful magic puts me in mind of Kelly Link or Carmen Maria Machado (and further back, Mary Shelley). The horror of grief has rarely been so viscerally or movingly evoked.”
- Peter Ho Davies, author of A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself
“A “genuinely scary” horror debut written in “prose so beautiful you won’t want to rush” about a boy who transforms into a monster, a monster who tries to be a man, and the people who love him in every form he takes (Ana Reyes)”
March 7, 2023
5.5 x 8.25
Grieving mother Magos cuts out a piece of her deceased eleven-year-old son Santiago’s lung. Acting on fierce maternal instinct and the dubious logic of an old folktale, she nurtures the lung until it gains sentience, growing into the carnivorous little Monstrilio she keeps hidden within the walls of her family’s decaying Mexico City estate. Eventually, Monstrilio begins to resemble the Santiago he once was, but his innate impulses—though curbed by his biological and chosen family’s communal care—threaten to destroy this fragile second chance at life.
A thought-provoking meditation on grief, acceptance, and the monstrous sides of love and loyalty, Gerardo Sámano Córdova blends bold imagination and evocative prose with deep emotional rigor. Told in four acts that span the globe from Brooklyn to Berlin, Monstrilio offers, with uncanny clarity, a cathartic and precise portrait of being human.