"Readers will find themselves hoping for more of this bold writer’s work."—Publishers Weekly
Cat sitter, insomniac, former schoolteacher. Ania worries she is a “stand-in occupant,” a substitute in her own life. When she receives a request from her father to visit her dying uncle Agustín in Argentina, she makes the long journey across the Andes from Chile to Campana, where her family immigrated from Italy. Her trip, one she used to make every summer with her father, will be an escape from the present and a journey to the borders of memory.
What follows is an ambitious portrait of alienation and belonging, and of two families and countries separated by a range of mountains. Threaded together with encyclopedia entries, pages from an old immigrant manual, typing class exercises, passages from children’s books, half-faded photos, and letters mailed between continents, The Touch System introduces Alejandra Costamagna as one of the most powerful and subtle writers in contemporary Latin American literature.
“Alejandra Costamagna’s characters embody that semblance of truth that provokes that famous and pleasant confusion; the genuine miracle of literature: what happens when life seems to be inside of the book; when the characters seem so real that for a long and valuable second we become, along with the book that is in our hands, less real.”—Alejandro Zambra
"The Touch System is a novel that condenses the virtues of all Alejandra Costamagna’s previous works: a work in between memory and imagination, the question of origins, the recurrence of family and, of course, a stylistic condensation that is distinctive of a great writer.”—El País
“A mandatory reference in contemporary Chileans—one might say even Latin American—literature... a literary voice that invites us to revisit our own lives with a new look.”—El Espectador
Praise for Alejandra Costagmagna
“Alejandra Costamagna’s stories never cease to surprise: an acute sentence, a beautiful and precious detail, a scene that leaves that leaves you breathless. This brilliant collection is proof, yet again, of the singularity of her voice and her enviable talent.”—Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles
“Alejandra Costamagna writes with precise and lethal finesse on excesses. In these stories of obsession, pleasure, violence and illness, words are like scalpels that dissect trembling, furious bodies, sometimes overwhelmed by their own desire.”—Mariana Enríquez, author of Things We Lost in the Fire