There Was Once a Garden

Valeria Correa Fiz


A garden is a rational, ordered, cared-for space where nature is given instructions and chaos is banished. Behind it are either dense jungle or uninhabitable desert. The seven masterful stories by Valeria Correa Fiz in this collection explore different moments in the characters' lives when nature (their own or that around them) breaks free: an abattoir suffers a flood, an Eiffel-designed greenhouse in the Pampas, a flat next to a cemetery, a hotel owned by phylonazis, a bar that was once the home of an anti-colonial patriot, Retiro Park in Madrid, or Spain by the Paraná River.
However, the garden of the title can also be interpreted as the Garden of Eden, symbolizing the loss of a state of grace to which one always strives to return because where there was once a garden questions has been left unanswered. Why do we abandon the rational, organized behaviour of a peaceful life? What dark forces, desires and violent impulses drive us away from civilization? Were we in fact driven out of the garden or did we decide to exile ourselves? Is paradise lost or simply half-finished?


El País, Babelia. Review

La Nueva Crónica, Culturas. Review 

Coolt. Review

Estado Crítico. Review

Bestia lectora. Review

La Lectura. Review Interview

Diario de Cádiz. Interview

La Voz de Cádiz. Interview

El Perseguidor. Review

"Everything works like a word machine, the said and the unsaid, a pure exercise in fictionalizing some evils of our time. Or of all times."


J. Ernesto Ayala-Dip, Babelia


"Can you write better? The seven stories in this book use an intimate, evocative, and thoughtful voice to tell cruelly beautiful, beautifully tragic stories."


José Ignacio García, La Nueva Crónica, Culturas


"Through a distorted realism, where the narrator's voice skillfully plays with the reader's expectations, Correa Fiz listens to the language and infects us with that Edenic nostalgia that runs through his characters in a writing where poetry and prose coexist."


Ana Llurba, Coolt


"There are books that stir consciences. There are books that shake your convictions and your conventions. There are books that make you question your senses. There are books that directly apply a third degree to you: about your way of looking, about your way of perceiving smells, about your way of being in the world. And these are the books that you definitely have to always have close at hand. This is one of them."

Eduardo Cruz Acillona, Estado Crítico


"You are going to discover one of the best contemporary storytellers. These stories, where the terror of life peeks out starkly, are going to excite you whether you want to think better of yourself or if you want to find a prayer-book that accompany you on your gray nights. It is a jewel that you cannot miss."


Tes Nehuén, Bestia Lectora


"This is an excellent book of stories that pierces us, scrutinizes us, and asks us about our own weaknesses, our capacity for surrender, our courage and our fears. It speaks to us about the hidden side of the moon, about going through the mirror of our daily comfort to enter a labyrinth of desires and passions, perhaps irredeemable".


Eduardo García Rojas, El Perseguidor


Other titles from Valeria Correa Fiz:

Hubo un jardín
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