Working as a cook on a merchant ship, a woman comes to know and love Samsa, a woman who gives her the nickname “Boulder.” When Samsa gets a job in Reykjavik and the couple decides to move there together, Samsa decides that she wants to have a child. She is already forty and can’t bear to let the opportunity pass her by. Boulder is less enthused, but doesn’t know how to say no—and so finds herself dragged along on a journey that feels as thankless as it is alien.
With motherhood changing Samsa into a stranger, Boulder must decide where her priorities lie, and whether her yearning for freedom can truly trump her yearning for love.
Once again, Eva Baltasar demonstrates her preeminence as a chronicler of queer voices navigating a hostile world—and in prose as brittle and beautiful as an ancient saga.
“The book is a modern love story—global, queer, existential in its moral hierarchies—but it is also a rumination on those two most ancient of words: lover and mother. A novel that lionizes the desire to be alone even as it recognizes the beauty and grace found within a family.” —Kirkus Starred Review
“Exquisite, dark and unconventional, Eva Baltasar turns intimacy into a wild adventure.” —Fernanda Melchor
“Boulder’s action spans more than eight years, but the reader never feels the passage of that time . . . Everything here has an air of immediacy, yet at the same time one has the feeling that there are abysses yawning between every short sentence, ellipses that expand and beg to be filled in by the reader’s own imagination. Boulder is a work of incandescent, volcanic brevity and density.” —Nuvol
“Opposed to all family ties, and jealous of her partner’s child, our narrator refuses to resign herself to her new role of secondary character in her own story, and lashes out by drinking and engaging in clandestine sex with other women, much as would a character in a Charles Bukowski story (an author with whom Baltasar shares more than one stylistic affinity). With Boulder, Eva Baltasar goes beyond Permafrost, to the point that, as with Gillian Flynn's antiheroines, or the anti-superheroine Jessica Jones, the new femininity evokes the old masculinity.” —El Periódico
“Eva Baltasar amazed me last year [with Permafrost], and my conversion has been now been completed.” —Libros y Literatura
“In her second novel, Baltasar continues to work on her approach to the body, seen as the very substance of storytelling. Around bodies, considered both as sexual objects and as the medium through which our feelings must be expressed, she is building anew a language by which human beings may, in our era, be able to approach one another.” —Zenda libros
“Baltasar returns with the same expressiveness and lyricism as in Permafrost, but with a new complexity in her characters, addressing such vital issues such as motherhood and our increasing inability to communicate with one another—an epidemic in our era.” —Valencia Plaza
Praise for Permafrost
“Unconventional and refreshing ... utterly unforgettable” —New York Times
“In one sentence, Baltasar and translator Julia Sanches summon not only a literal instance of sex involving food play, not only sex between women in the abstract, but the joyful eroticism of words and reading ... queerness can be a salvation. Permafrost shows this beautifully.” —The Guardian
“Quickly, Baltasar’s narrator renders the world and herself within it in acute and savage terms . . . Baltasar is in incredible hands with Sanches, who hits each unexpected beat with deft clarity and concision . . . Definitively and rapidly, Permafrost takes readers the entire way.” —Los Angeles Review of Books