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Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season

Fernanda Melchor
Translated by Sophie Hughes from Spanish

Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions
Hurricane Season opens with the macabre discovery of a decomposing body in a small waterway on the outskirts of La Matosa, a village in rural Mexico. It soon becomes apparent that the body is that of the local witch, who is both feared by the men and relied upon by the women, helping them with love charms and illegal abortions.
Mirroring the structure of Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold, the novel goes back in time, recounting the events which led to La Matosa’s witch’s murder from several perspectives. Hurricane Season quickly transcends its detective story constraints: the culprits are named early on in the narrative, shifting the question to why rather than who. Through the stories of Luismi, Norma, Brando and Munra, Fernanda Melchor paints a portrait of lives governed by poverty and violence, machismo and misogyny, superstition and prejudice. Written with a brutal lyricism that is as affecting as it is enthralling, Hurricane Season, Melchor’s first novel to appear in English, is a formidable portrait of Mexico and its demons.



Actor Toby Jones reads a passage from Hurricane Season.

We speak with Fernanda Melchor about Hurricane Season and she reads from the novel in its original language.

Sophie Hughes, translator of Hurricane Season, tells us what she liked about translating Hurricane Season and with author Fernanda Melchor.

About the Author

Fernanda Melchor

Fernanda Melchor, born in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1982, is a writer and journalist who lives and works in Puebla. In 2013 she published a collection of short stories and and a novel: Aqui no es Miami and Falsa liebre (both with Almadia), followed by Hurricane Season in 2017.



Sophie Hughes is a literary translator from Spanish to English, known for her translations of writers such as Laia Jufresa, Rodrigo Hasbún, and José Revueltas. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Alia Trabucco Zerán’s The Remainder. She has also been longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award (2017; 2018), the ALTA National Translation Award in Prose (2018) and the PEN Translation Prize (2018). In 2017 she received a PEN/Heim Translation Grant and in  2018 she was named one of the Arts Foundation “25” for her contribution to the field of literary translation. Sophie is the co-editor of the anthology Europa28: Visions for the Future in association with Womarts and Hay Festival and published by Comma Press, and she is currently working with the Stephen Spender Trust taking creative translation to UK classrooms to promote language learning in schools.