There's a lot to love in this chilling debut about the monstrosity of grief. After the death of her 11 year old son, the boy's mother, Magos, is inspired by a Mexican folktale and removes a part of her son's lung and places it in a jar to nurture it. What starts as a desperate attempt to keep his memory alive soon becomes something else entirely, after the boy starts growing back. Unconditional love and grief are powerful, complex emotions, and Monstrilio interrogates the slippery morals that are compromised in times of extreme desperation. Inventive, unsettling, and surprisingly tender, Monstrilio blurs the lines between human and monster, belonging and rejection. Shane recommends!— Shane
A "wholly unique" and "uncompromising" literary horror debut about a boy who transforms into a monster, a monster who tries to be a man, and the people who love him in every form he takes (Eric LaRocca, author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes)Grieving mother Magos cuts out a piece of her deceased eleven-year-old son Santiago's lung. Acting on fierce maternal instinct and the dubious logic of an old folktale, she nurtures the lung until it gains sentience, growing into the carnivorous little Monstrilio she keeps hidden within the walls of her family's decaying Mexico City estate. Eventually, Monstrilio begins to resemble the Santiago he once was, but his innate impulses--though curbed by his biological and chosen family's communal care--threaten to destroy this fragile second chance at life. A thought-provoking meditation on grief, acceptance, and the monstrous sides of love and loyalty, Gerardo S mano C rdova blends bold imagination and evocative prose with deep emotional rigor. Told in four acts that span the globe from Brooklyn to Berlin, Monstrilio offers, with uncanny clarity, a cathartic and precise portrait of being human.