The Mistress's Daughter

A.M. Homes writes: "I grew up furious. I feared that there was something about me, some defect of birth that made me repulsive, unlovable."

Entrevista en el New York Times: Do you feel better now?
I spent a long time feeling like at any moment I just would be not part of the planet anymore. I do feel better now. But people keep saying, “It must have been so cathartic for you.” And I think, Is vomiting cathartic?

Descubrí a A.M. Homes en un momento oportuno. Por azar, como todas las cosas importantes, llegó a mis manos 'The Safety of Objects', un libro de relatos brutal y adictivo que hizo que desde entonces me sumergiera en el mundo literario de esta extraña y buenísima escritora norteamericana. A los libros de Homes hay que ir preparado: preparado para tener tiempo suficiente porque son como los de Nothomb, se devoran en días. Igualmente, como sucede con Lorrie Moore, hay que tener tiempo para sorprenderse, sentir asco, tristeza, estupefacción... y luego seguir como si nada en nuestras vidas cotidianas.

En su último libros, Homes va más allá. En poco más de 200 páginas nos desvela una parte de su historia personal. Adoptando el título de 'memoir', es más bien el relato de una pesadilla, un infierno que vivió a los 31 años (ahora debe tener unos 45) y cómo buceó en él, impasible, para luego retomar su vida.

En este libro de no ficción, que en ocasiones se piensa que ojalá sí fuera ficción, Homes cuenta cómo conoce a sus padres biológicos, cómo el ser adoptada la afecta a lo largo de su vida y en realidad, cuenta cómo se forja dolorosamente su identidad.

Puntuación: 10 (de nuevo, como en Murakami, puntuación puramente personal...seguramente los críticos no le pondrían esta nota).

The phone call is thrilling, flirty as a first date, like the beginning of something. There is a rush of curiosity, the desire to know everything at once. What is your life like, how do your days begin and end? What do you do for fun? Why did you come and find me? What do you want?
Every nuance, every detail means something. I am like an amnesiac being awakened. Things I know about myself, things that exist without language, my hardware, my mental firing patterns — parts of me that are fundamentally, inexorably me are being echoed on the other end, confirmed as a DNA match. It is not an entirely comfortable sensation.

To my generation of writers, Homes is a kind of hero, and The Mistress's Daughter is the latest example of her fearlessness and brilliance. It is a compelling, devastating, and furiously good book written with an honesty that few of us would risk." --Zadie Smith

"The Mistress's Daughter is an emotional experience - outraging, profoundly saddening, moving, and finally magnificent." --Mary Gaitskill

The Mistress's Daughter has the beguiling pull of mystery, memory, and surprise. I fell in love with it from the first page and read compulsively to the end. It lays bare those questions about our essential selves: How did we become who we are? What elements of inheritance, neglect, accident, and choice gave us our confused identity, our quirky personality, our urges to be wholly loved? As A.M. Homes shows, there are no definitive answers, but in our search for them, we find more important truths." --Amy Tan