Hot Girl Lit

Writing Is An Exorcism With Margarita García Robayo

Award-winning author Margarita García Robayo explains hybrid genres, the origin of her characters, and why she feels conflicted about location––in literature and in life.

By Cora Lee

Photo by Alejandra López


Hot Girl Lit is a monthly column that catalogs hot reads by hot writers.

I knew I had fallen head over heels for Margarita García Robayo when I broke from my usual no e-book policy to read Fish Soup on the computer while at work (don’t tell on me). But still, I found that the virtual version was not enough. I needed it in my hands! I wanted to take it with me to a cafe where my friend works so I could ingest this book the best way possible––sitting at the counter, sipping an iced tea, eating baklava, chatting in between chapters and customers––which is exactly what I did.

Born in Cartagena, Colombia and currently living in Argentina, Margarita García Robayo has written three novels–Fish Soup, which was a Times Book of the Year, Holiday Heart, which won the English PEN Award, and most recently, The Delivery, which came out last month from Charco Press. Even in translation you can feel the voice pulsing through the pages–lean, barbed prose that hooks the reader right away. Although her characters are often cynical, the writing does not feel so. Her sentences are laced with humor and charm. There is a paragraph in the novella “Sex Education” that I found so funny I read it aloud to everyone––my boyfriend, my boss, my friend working at the coffee shop.

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