1872. The pampas of Argentina. China is a young woman eking out an existence in a remote gaucho encampment. After her no-good husband is conscripted into the army, China bolts for freedom, setting off on a wagon journey through the pampas in the company of her new-found friend Liz, a settler from Scotland. While Liz provides China with a sentimental education and schools her in the nefarious ways of the British Empire, their eyes are opened to the wonders of Argentina’s richly diverse flora and fauna, cultures and languages, as well as to the ruthless violence involved in nation-building.
This subversive retelling of Argentina’s foundational gaucho epic Martin Fierro is a celebration of the colour and movement of the living world, the open road, love and sex, and the dream of lasting freedom. With humour and sophistication, Gabriela Cabezon Camara has created a joyful, hallucinatory novel that is also an incisive critique of national myths.
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