The Houseguest And Other Stories by Amparo Dávila

“It was a true stroke of genius to measure suffering by degrees, to assign different categories and limits. Some say that pain lasts forever and never runs out; but I believe that past the 10th degree of my scale, all that’s left is the memory of pain, hurting only in recollection.”
Wow, I haven’t read short stories that excited my existence in such a long time. Clearly, Amparo Dávila is one of the best short story writers out there and she has her own unique way of telling.
The Houseguest & Other Stories is a supernatural fantasy combines with real life. Each story centers by the life of different women. It is a perfect piece of art that illustrates the typical lives of women, mostly being victimized by social norms. It’s sad to say that the women victim (or the woman destroyed) is something very normal in the real world, then or now. Helplessly falling into traps by men, friends, family, relationship, society, and even by her own thoughts. It’s terrifying. Dávila brought out this very point into written words so imaginary and profound. It portrays the specific dimensions of women’s lives both victims and assailants.
With a pinch of supernatural fantasy that twisted the plots, made this book even more fascinating. Though, the whole reading experience was more like, creepy, terrifying and shocking. A lot of time I found myself closed the book and wondered what did I just read. It’s fearfully delighted.
According to the literary critiques, they compared her with Poe, Kafka or Sharkey Jackson but I wonder if it’s actually related to Mexican folklore about the death or just simply a narration of suicidal or being mentally ill when people have too much to handle, depression and anxiety.
I highly encourage you to check this one out. And I hope to see more of Dávila’s work available in English more and sooner!

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