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A Corpse of One's Own

Una ombra fosca, com un núvol de tempesta

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Patricia Hart

A Corpse of One's Own is a feminist thriller written originally in Catalan, a tongue effectively persecuted in Spain during 40 years of Francoist dictatorship. Thus the novel comes to us from a two-pronged history of oppression, and wrenches its plot to resolution in a way that may shock even those familiar with the feminist genre fiction of Sara Paretsky or Sue Grafton. Simó's Sara Costa, unlike V.I. Warshawski or Kinsey Milhone, is not initially strong or independent, well-educated, or even particularly smart, and she is certainly not hip by anyone's definition. In fact, fifty-five year-old Sara is the type of woman most likely to take abuse from a patriarchy she can never fully understand. While Grafton and Paretsky brilliantly expose the wounds of being one-down (female, minority, poor, or idealistic, for example), then deftly suture these incisions into our society with their heroines' wit and knack for survival, Simó shows us life as a horribly messy accident for which the novel has no emergency medical training. As readers, all we can do is contemplate the carnage in horror.