“The Taiga Syndrome”

the taiga syndrome 01

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]

Cristina Rivera Garza’s short 2012 novel, translated into English by Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana in 2018. I read a Dorothy paperback from the library.

Buy the Book.

3 out of 5 stars. 

Times Read: 1

The Plot:

An ex-detective searches for a missing couple in the Taiga.

The Taiga Syndrome has a dreamy, hypnotic quality. The striking images make emotional (but not literal) sense, leaning on motifs and repetition and not clear plot progression. It’s pleasing for a time, but around page 100, my lack of emotional connection to the characters and events slowed me down. If there had been more than 19 pages left, I might not have finished it.

This feels like the work of an author who has a beautiful style and language but didn’t have a firm statement to make; writing for the sake of writing.

Rivera Garza is bilingual and has translated other Spanish work into English; I’m not sure why she didn’t translate her own writing. If anyone knows why or has a theory, please drop a line. Continue reading