By Ana Simo
In a word-drunk romp through an alternate, preapocalyptic America, Cuban-American debut author Ana Simo’s Heartland turns the classic murder mystery on its head with the story of a thwarted author’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, blending elements of telenovela, lesbian pulp noir, and sci-fi dystopia.
Paperback List Price: $16.99 • ISBN: 9781632061508 • Publication: 1/16/2018 • 5.5” x 8.25” • 240 pages • Fiction—Lesbian Pulp Noir • Territory: World all Languages • eBook ISBN: 9781632061515
About the Book
There's only one solution for a nasty case of writer's block, and that's murder. Specifically of one Mercy McCabe, a mysterious Anglo art dealer who was once our Latina narrator's rival in love for the scrumptious Bebe—the best thing to have happened to her since fleeing mass starvation in the heartland and resettling in New York City. Now, ten years since McCabe left her life in shambles, our heroine decides that her nemesis must admit her guilt, sentence herself, and beg for her own execution, Soviet-style.
McCabe, though, is slippery. Lured to the house in the Great Plains where the parents of her would-be murderer had worked as domestics, she suddenly disappears. Worse is the unexpected arrival of the narrator's childhood friend, Rafael Cohen, now a government eugenicist who invented New Racialism—a mestizo-breeding program designed to eliminate racial animosity.
Only recently to its feet after the Great Hunger of the late twentieth century and the terrorist attacks of the early twenty-first, the United States of Heartland is paranoid and fearful: maitre d's carry stun guns, milk trucks are armored, and the rich have abandoned their homes to the mercy of marauding bands. As a puritanical caliphate marches to take over Constantinople and then America, our transgressive narrator knows she will be among the first up against the wall.
Blending elements of allegory, noir, and telenovela, Heartland is a timely, genre-defying debut that confronts the burdens of race, assimilation, sex, language, guilt, and history through an unforgettable story of love and revenge.
About the Author
Ana María Simo is a New York playwright, essayist, and lesbian activist. Born and raised in Cuba, she was forced to leave the island during the political/homophobic witch-hunts of the late 1960s. She immigrated to Paris in time to witness the May 1968 revolt, study with Roland Barthes, and participate in early women's and gay and lesbian rights groups like the Gouines Rouges, MLF, and FHAR. Since moving to New York in 1973, she has written some dozen plays and collaborated with experimental artists such as choreographer Stephanie Skura and composer Zeena Parkins. She co-founded the lesbian theater Medusa's Revenge, the direct-action group the Lesbian Avengers, the national cable program Dyke TV, and the groundbreaking online magazine The Gully, offering queer views on everything. Her New York Times-reviewed plays have been produced in such venues as PS 122, Theatre for the New City, INTAR Hispanic Arts Center and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. How To Kill Her, her short feature film with Ela Troyano, has been widely screened in festivals in the U.S. and abroad. A CD of her play The Opium War with music by Zeena Parkins was released by Roulette. Heartland is her first novel. She recently finished On Cannibals, her second novel, and is currently writing a new one, titled Divine Light.