“Spiderweb”
by Mariana Enríquez
from the December 19 & 26, 2016 issue of The New Yorker

Oh boy. It’s the last New Yorker issue of 2016. I’m at least a month behind, not just in my reading but also in my mental time of year. It doesn’t feel like it’s time to take stock on the year quite yet, but here we are. Let’s hope they end 2016 with a great story.

This is Mariana Enríquez’s New Yorker debut. In fact, I think it is her English-language debut, though she’s been publishing since the 1990s and has had her work translated into several other languages. Help me out if I’m overlooking something. Next February, Hogarth will be publishing a collection of her stories called Things We Lost in the Fire, and I am betting “Spiderweb” is one of the stories in the forthcoming collection. Not having read the story yet, and not knowing anything about Enríquez until this morning, I am heartened by this bit from Hogarth: “An arresting collection of short stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent.” I know publishers can put all kinds of things down there to entice readers, but they hit a personal sweet spot by mentioning Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar. I’m going into this one with enthusiasm!

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