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Adam Morris

Adam Morris is a writer and translator based in California. He has translated novels by Hilda Hilst, João Gilberto Noll, and Beatriz Bracher. He is the author of American Messiahs: False Prophets of a Damned Nation (Liveright / W.W. Norton, 2019).


Whenever anyone asked him how many siblings he had, Teo would say, “there are five of us, but one died.” If this confused whoever asked, Teo would only shake his head and say: “I never met him. He was the eldest and died when he was a baby.”

from MONA

Pola Oloixarac’s Mona begins with its eponymous protagonist fleeing the safety of her academic post at Stanford to join a dozen literary prize nominees in Sweden. The story advances primarily through conversation and observation about art, books, sex, and theory—and when characters aren’t speaking explicitly in the language of critical theory we can imagine that they’re anticipating critical theoretical objections to their own thoughts. That said, it’s funny, sometimes very very funny. Mona’s insight into our world may come across as shockingly candid, it might come across as shockingly jaded, but it will not come across as inhibited or overly careful. With her debut Savage Theories, and now here in Mona, Oloixarac reminds us that serious fiction can also be bracingly wild.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

All Issues