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OUR DEAD SKIN (working title)

Natalia García Freire

  • Original Title: NUESTRA PIEL MUERTA
  • Publication date: October 2019
  • Publisher: LA NAVAJA SUIZA
  • Country: EC
  • 156 print pages
  • Drama


  • Location setting: Ecuador
  • Themes: FAMILY, Maternity, Paternity, Filiation, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Looking back on one's life, Death, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Manipulation, Psychological dysfunction, Rivalry, LOVE / HATE, Obsession, Childhood


Set in Ecuador in the early to mid 20th century. A young man named Lucas returns to his family home. It has been taken over by others, but he finds a way to get back in and sees the servants he knew as a child. As he tells the story of how his father lost the house, he describes his own attempts to reclaim it.


Translation rights sold: Italy (at auction), UK, France (at auction)

There are three reprints and the book is now a finalist for the Tigre Juan (past winners include Samanta Schweblin, Pedro Pairal, Luis Sepúlveda)

Debut novel.

Natalia García Freire is an Ecuadorian writer. As a freelance journalist, she has collaborated with Univisión, El Hoy newspaper, Plan V magazine, El Mercurio newspaper, CityLab Latino and BG Magazine, among others.


NUESTRA PIEL MUERTA is narrated by Lucas, a young man who returns home only to find it taken over by two strangers who had fooled his deceased father. Felisberto and Eloy now own everything, including the three women who raised Lucas and who are now their servants in this dilapidated house. Lucas' only safe refuge is the underground, what no one sees or cares about: the world of insects, their science, their sacredness, their perfection. Lucas entwines this narrative with botanical and natural elements, which were also obsessions of his mother, sent to a sanatorium and abandoned by his father. Lucas will rebuild life and meaning using these same ruins, exploring his childhood and masculinity, surviving death and memory.

At times a prose poem, at times a psychological thriller, Natalia García Freire puts her maturity, her sensitivity, her lyrical gifts on full display.

You can't pin down the exact setting. It's an Andean landscape that the author reinvents herself, unchained to geography, fully devoted to the earth itself and its underworld of insects, all told through touch and smell.

Report available

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