Monstrilio

Gerardo Sámano Córdova

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 “wholly unique” and “uncompromising” literary horror debut 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 (Eric LaRocca, author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes)

ISBN

9781638930365

Language

English

Page count

336

Edition

Hardcover

Sale date

March 7, 2023

Dimensions

5.5 x 8.25

About the Book

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.

Reviews

An extraordinary act of imagination, an extended meditation that begins in grief, family, belonging, and moves past that, into a deeper discovery of the power of love— and the powerlessness of love, as well its strangeness. With Monstrilio, Sámano Córdova makes a remarkable, kaleidoscopic debut.

- Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

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

Haunting and often bleakly humorous, Gerardo Sámano Córdova’s Monstrilio is a captivating tone poem of trauma, grief, and transformation. Córdova writes with the lyrical precision of a master surrealist and creates an uncompromising vision of literary horror that is so wholly unique and utterly his own.”

- Eric LaRocca, author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortune

In Gerardo Sámano Córdova’s spare, soulful, and singular Monstrilio, a mother’s grief turns monstrous, literally taking on a life of its own. As tender and terrifying as its titular character, Monstrilio is just as likely to work its way into your heart as into your nightmares. Prepare to unhinge your jaw and devour it whole.

- Maria Adelmann, author of Girls of a Certain Age and How to be Eaten

Monstrilio is the monster story about grief I’ve been craving. Bloody and full of longing, it gets under your skin and doesn’t let you go. A thrilling and heartbreaking ride from Mexico City to NYC to Berlin, brilliantly capturing what it means to lose someone you love with ferocious tenderness. Gerardo Sámano Córdova is an international revelation and one of the boldest new voices writing today.

- Akil Kumarasamy, author of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea and Half Gods

Monstrilio is unlike any other book I’ve read. Genuinely scary at times, it moved me with its humanity, made me laugh, and ultimately, made me cry. Gerardo Sámano Córdova has written a stunning exploration of grief, belonging, and familial love in prose so beautiful you won’t want to rush through it—even as you need to know what happens next.

- Ana Reyes, The House in The Pines