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The Delivery (La encomienda)

Translated into English by Megan McDowell

The narrator of The Delivery lives 5,000 miles from her native country, works for an advertising agency, is applying for a writing residency in The Netherlands and has video calls with her sister who regularly sends her packages that contain food, drawings by her nephews and, once in a while, a surprise such as an old photograph. Most of the time, the food arrives rotten. People come and go and subtle fissures open up around the narrator: a huge package arrives, a cat roams throughout the whole building, neighbours appear at her door to make complaints, family members are hovering.

The Delivery is full of semi-ordinary happenings that take on an otherworldly cast if you look at them sideways. It is a novel about family relations. It’s about the tenuous bonds of family that hold us together, or don’t. Where does a family begin and end? Where in the continuous chain is the starting point? As the character says about her childhood: ‘Sometimes I get curious (…) but I don’t ask because the answer could come with information I’d rather not know’. 

By turns tender and biting, this is Margarita García Robayo at her very best.


"An author overflowing with resources and cunning... She has been building one of the most solid and interesting works in Latin American literature"

— Juan Cárdenas

"Margarita García Robayo is a sophisticated system of layers... She has elegance, she has narrative perfidy. She has a world inside her head, and it is a complex world, full of edges, contrasts"

— Leila Guerriero

"Margarita García Robayo's voice is a scalpel entering with fine and precise cuts into the flesh of our personal history" 

— Gabriela Wiener

"I believe she is the writer who writes best about intimacy"

— Mariana Enriquez

"García Robayo brilliantly attacks the foundational myths of personhood, whether they are called father, mother, partner, home, or sex"

— El País

"García Robayo narrates the exceptional from the small, in a unique tone, as if to face these catastrophes one had to use a low-definition device"

— Revista Ñ

"García Robayo dazzles with meticulous prose that she writes precisely and conscientiously"

— El Mundo

"In her stories, small passions explode between the letters, words, and verbs and linger there, as if they were real, as if the ordinary and everyday reached the rank of art"

— El Mercurio

"If for this narrator having a child is like 'resisting extinction' (...), novels like The Delivery fulfil a similar injunction to permanence: not to pass through the world without leaving anything behind."

— El País

"An intimate, mature work that confirms Margarita García Robayo as one of the most promising Latin American writers today."

— La Razón

"The Delivery is one of those novels that mark a before and an after, just as happens to its main character when she manages to open the crate sent by her sister."

— Pagina/12

"A book of contained intensity, full of glimpses more than certainties, which confirms the author as one of the leading voices of Latin American fiction."

— El Siglo de Torreón

Publisher: Anagrama
Territories: World English: Charco; Brazil: Moinhos; Germany: DTV; France: Sonatine
Other Margarita Garcia Robayo Titles