The Wonders


By Elena Medel

Translated by Lizzie Davis

Translated by Thomas Bunstead

Formats and Prices




$22.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around February 28, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

“Rhythmic, incantatory . . . Vivid and painfully intimate.” —The New York Times Book Review

Winner of the Francisco Umbral Prize for Best Book of the Year
A Finalist for the Finestres Award
Now Translated into Fifteen Languages

An international sensation, The Wonders follows María and Alicia through the streets of Madrid as they search for meaning and stability in a precarious world and unknowingly trace each other’s footfalls across time. María moved to the city in 1969, leaving her daughter with her family but hoping to save enough to take care of her. She worked as a housekeeper, then a caregiver, and later a cleaner, and somehow she was always taking care of someone else. Two generations later, in 2018, Alicia was working at the snack shop in Madrid’s Atocha train station when it overflowed with female protesters. She couldn’t have known that María was among them. Alicia didn’t have time for marches; she was just trying to hang on until the end of her shift.

Readers will fall in love with María and Alicia, whose stories finally converge in the chaos of the protests, the weight of the years of silence hanging thickly in the air between them. The Wonders brings half a century of the feminist movement to life, and launches an inimitable new voice in fiction. Medel’s lyrical sensibility reveals her roots as a poet, but her fast-paced and expansive storytelling show she’s a novelist ahead of her time.



Madrid, 2018

She checked her pockets and found nothing. Her pant pockets, then the ones in her jacket: not so much as a used tissue. In her purse, nothing but a euro and a twenty-céntimo coin. Alicia won't need any money till after her shift ends, but it makes her uncomfortable, this feeling of being so close to zero. I work at the train station, in a convenience store, the one near the public restrooms: that's how she usually introduces herself. There are no ATMs without fees in Atocha, so she gets off the metro one stop early and looks for a branch of her bank, withdrawing twenty euros to ease her mind. With this solitary note in her pocket, Alicia looks out at the virtually deserted traffic circle, a few cars, a few pedestrians. Shortly, the sky will start growing light. Given the choice, Alicia always takes the late shift: that way she gets to wake up when she likes, spend the afternoon at the shop, then go directly home. Nando grumbles when that happens, or all the time, really, while she claims it's better for her coworker, who has two kids, so the early shift suits her. But it means having the first few hours of the day to herself, and avoiding evenings at the bar with his friends—who are hers, too, by default—cheap tapas, babies, dirty napkins everywhere. Alicia always thought the ritual would end when the others became parents, but they just wait till the kids doze off and come straight back once they're in a deep sleep, and it upsets Nando when she tries to get out of it. At least give me that, he says. That sometimes means spending the whole second half of the day in the bar downstairs, and other times, traveling with him on that season's cycling tour: he rides his bike, she goes along in a car with the other women. Alicia considers the word esposa, meaning both "spouse" and "handcuff," and how the sound of it and its meaning never seem more precisely linked than on those weekends: the skin on her wrists stings, as if chafed by metal. At night, in the hostel—cheap, coarse sheets—Nando bites his lip and clamps a hand over her mouth so the noise doesn't give them away, and after he's finished, asks why she always tries to avoid these trips when they do her so much good.

And so it goes on, day after night, and night after day, sometimes melding into one another, day night night day, and a morning never comes when she calls in sick and just walks through the city instead, and there's never a night without the same recurring nightmare. Her supervisors—she's had several, always men with shirts tucked in, at first a little older than her, these days a little younger—applaud her for staying on so long, years and years in the same post. Some of them ask if she doesn't get bored taking money for travel kits all day long, and she tells them, no, she's happy; for her, it's enough. They appreciate that in particular: it's reassuring to hear she's happy, the convenience-store girl—Patricia, wasn't that your name? One of them wanted to know if she didn't have dreams: if you only knew, she thought—the man with the limp flashing through her thoughts, his dead body swinging in circles. In her boss's mind she was picturing luxury urban apartments, months spent lounging on beaches with crystalline waters.

Early shift or late, she approaches it the same: if she works the early, she always picks Nando up afterward or waits for him to call, or they have drinks in the bar to the soundtrack of other people's kids crying; if the late, she finds more satisfying ways to spend her time. Some mornings, she puts on a little makeup, though she doesn't know what to accentuate these days—over time, fat has come to settle on her hips and thighs, and there are the rat eyes she inherited from her mother, who inherited them from her father, or so her Uncle Chico claims in a tone of lament—and she walks through neighborhoods Nando never sets foot in, feigns interest over coffee in a bar where they haven't yet managed to hire a chef, across from a butcher shop that's closing down.

In the beginning, with Nando in the city, she resisted her urges, afraid she'd be found out. But then it happened one day: red tape at the social security office, a guy younger than her in the waiting room, insisting on showing off the book he was reading. Alicia finds her body more and more shameful all the time, so it was a chance she seized.

The Atocha traffic circle is virtually deserted, not many cars, not many pedestrians: a few minutes till sunrise. On Cuesta de Moyano, the stall shutters are still down; several purple dots—she can barely make them out in the distance, the women—stacking up placards near the carousel. She heard on TV about something happening today, but then she gets distracted, the walk sign comes on, she crosses over to the station, her mind on matters closer to home.

María sleeps soundly—like a log. When she retired, she put her alarm clock in a plastic bag and left it on the association's secondhand shelf for anyone who might need it. She'd gone years without using it—like everyone, she'd replaced it with the one on her cell phone instead—but the gesture seemed symbolic, like something out of someone else's story: now that I won't be needing it anymore, she thought, why shouldn't it be of use to someone who does, an object in another story whose protagonist leaves the house before dawn? She almost always wakes up unaided anyway, stirring when the light filters through the blinds or the person in the adjacent apartment gets in the shower. They started preparing for this day months ago. Last night, signing off on WhatsApp, Laura wrote, "Can't believe it's really happening." At assemblies, at district meetings, María always tries to stop the younger girls from getting too excited, but now she's excited, too: my whole life, the near seventy years I've lived, it's all led to waking up today, being here at your gathering, walking beside you. They were briefed at the association: do whatever you want, a paid work strike, a consumer strike, a care strike. Choose whatever works for you, because for us it all works, and we aren't here to hand out badges for who's the best feminist. My husband will notice if I don't have a meal ready for him. Well, then, Amalia, put some soup in a Tupperware and tell him he can warm it up himself. Can't he even manage that? Give him a microwave class next week, beginners' level. I have to work, I can't afford not to get paid, but I'll meet up with you later on at Atocha. Does taking care of yourself count? I'm thinking of running a hot bath before I leave the house in the morning, soaking till I wrinkle up like a prune. Sure, why not, today's about taking care of ourselves and our sisters.

The previous afternoon, several of them had met up at the association: some busied themselves making sandwiches for whoever would be out in the streets today, spreading the word to the women leaving the grocery store and the ones who'd gone in to work; others opted not to strike but showed up early at the headquarters to talk about events in different cities, and here in their own. Does listening to the radio count as a strike? Watching what's happening online? They uncovered a foil-wrapped tray and passed out pieces of sponge cake. They had baked empanadas, the girls made hummus and guacamole, one of the veterans dunked a spoon in the clay pot as if it were soup or custard, to the girls' delight: that's not how you eat hummus. It seemed too modern to her, and she thought of her mother, who'd lived through the war and would never have wasted ingredients on that slop: where d'you think you're from, the Nile or Carabanchel, because here in Carabanchel we put chickpeas in a stew. While they were making chorizo-and-salami sandwiches, cutting them into triangles, wrapping them in plastic, stacking them in the fridge to hand out the next day, María listed all the protests and strikes she hadn't taken part in: the ones against Suárez in the seventies, before the elections and then afterward, the one against NATO, the one for pensions in '85, the strike of '88 and the two in the nineties, Iraq and the "No to War" one, the one in 2010, the two in 2012—the one here against Rajoy, and the Europe one—the freedom train, pro-choice. The Tides, remembers another girl, already university-aged, you were there for the Green Tide, she says, and María recounts how at one of the demonstrations, a reporter asked her if she was protesting on behalf of her granddaughter, and she, not knowing how to respond, said that yes, she was, for her granddaughter and for all of her granddaughter's friends, and the girls in the younger group at the association waved at the camera without letting on that they weren't related to her. María confidently pronounced the first and last names of the men who formed part of her biography—Felipe, Boyer, Aznar—and who would never know a thing about the seventy- year-old woman who had left a half-built neighborhood in a city in southern Spain for working-class Carabanchel, Madrid. One of Zapatero's ministers had granted the association a prize, but María didn't pick it up. They'd given them out in the morning, and she couldn't get the time off work.

Nando pleads: at least give me that, Alicia. That no longer includes marriage, which Alicia agreed to only because it got her that run-down apartment in that run-down neighborhood, nor kids, which he's accepted—just about—are never going to come along. That means a weekend with the cycling club, pleasant landscapes in mediocre company, another few days at the beach with his mother, with whom Alicia practices the healthy art of silence; that is another word for Saturday night at another couple's house, or dinner at a local restaurant. Alicia had gotten herself into this—this, not that: Nando, living with Nando, marrying him, and molding her life to his—and refusing him children in turn obliged her to make certain daily concessions: if you want something, you have to give something up in return; if you keep something back, you have to make up for it. There's still time: what if she told him yes, okay, and they were lucky and managed it quickly and within a year had attached a cosleeping cradle to their bed so they could hear the wailing nice and close? How hard would it be to lose the pounds she'd gain? Would her supervisor repay her for having intoned over so many years that, no, the burger isn't included in the meal deal, or would they replace her with a girl ten years younger who cares as little as she does if she makes peanuts? Her bra damp with breast milk, her belly sagging. She'd need a new way to break the ice, since she's happy enough to say yes to men too old or too ridiculous when she finds nothing better, but she worries that not even they would want her after she'd become a mother: getting a woman with a saggy body and stretch marks is not getting lucky. Her body after giving birth: can Alicia imagine it? How does she think Nando would take it if her breasts drooped even more, if the stretch marks spread to her thighs? He'd stop using her name to speak to her—even in public, he'd start calling her "Mom," as if she'd given birth to two. In the time leading up to it, Nando would refuse to have sex with her, out of fear of stunting his brilliant offspring's mind with a thrust—so that, at least, would be in Alicia's favor: her transformation from wife to mother would protect her from her husband's desire—and he would make her tea for morning sickness those first months, bring her teething necklaces, breastfeeding clothes. She thinks about a baby—let's call her Little Alicia—who doesn't exist, which seems a reason to rejoice—will she have her rat eyes or Nando's eyes?—and then she starts trawling the internet: nursing gowns, side-access shirts for lactating, her breasts in one of those horrifying bras. With any luck, during her pregnancy, Nando's eye would be caught by one of the girls who work in the warehouse, in admin—he's mentioned several, nice girls, very well qualified, she forgets their names—and he'd leave her in peace for a while, a few months, the rest of her life. What will she do with Little Alicia then, if Little Alicia exists, if Nando's off having fun? The first idea she has is to use her for her forays into the city: maybe a man will come up to her hoping to help her fold up the stroller, or some lech will start a conversation while she's waiting for the metro. How old is the little one?—Little Alicia dressed in pink, her frills and a pearl in each earlobe ever since she was tiny—and she'll answer enthusiastically and make something up, while she still can, while Little Alicia neither hears nor cares, she's not listening, all she cares about is crying and feeding and shitting and having her diaper changed. Little Alicia parked next to the umbrella stand, in an apartment in Palomeras or Las Tablas, while her mother fucks a stranger who asks for her number and for weeks afterward will be sending dick pics to a math teacher in Cartagena whose number has three or four digits in common with Alicia's. She doesn't bother to stifle her laughter, even though the customers can hear. And what if Little Alicia retains some image from these encounters, some sound? In the dreams her daughter has for the rest of her life, a woman's body on top of a man's, the stuccoed walls of an apartment filled with furniture three decades old, someone asking someone to go down, someone asking someone to come up, suddenly, just before waking, Little Alicia recognizing her face in the face of the woman stretched out beside a body she knows nothing of, a body that disgusts her, bathed in sweat and, for an instant, truly happy.

So did you see many women at the meetings before, María? One of the girls, virtually a teenager, asked the question innocently, a trail of red chorizo grease from her wrist to her fingertips; her hands, rough from chores since she was little, always stood out to María, who saw them as a sign that she'd end up having to use them more than her head. In spite of her youth, the things the girl said astonished María—the daughter of a friend's daughter, she told herself with a strange sense of pride—she expressed her opinions emphatically, could empathize with other people's points of view, and at the same time, there was something comforting to María in the remark, which confirmed how green the girl was: I can't believe the men wouldn't let you speak. I always went with the guys from the neighborhood association, María explained. I started going out with one of them five or six years after I moved to Madrid. I went to those meetings to make the neighborhood a better place: back then it was a rough area, even more than it is now, addicts shooting up in broad daylight, right at the door to my building, and they wouldn't stop at just snatching your purse, and then there were still whole shanty areas and, farther out, the prisons. We all had the feeling that south of the river was a wasteland full of nothing and nobody. Nothing and nobody, of course, meant us. I started to think about what they were saying at the meetings, started to note down some of the writers they mentioned, they and other men I didn't know so well, at the meetings and the bars where we went out afterward. I would jump from one writer to the next, and the next, and then share whatever conclusions I came to with one of those men, my partner—Pedro was his name—and we'd argue about them. He'd bring them up for discussion at the next meeting, and they'd all swoon over how clever he seemed, like some academic. I kept quiet, because he made it sound better than I could ever have hoped to. I started meeting up with some women, your grandma, some other friends, in one living room or another, at my place, and that's where we'd go to talk about the topics concerning us more specifically, the things the men weren't interested in: divorce, abortion, violence, not just the physical kind, but emotional, too. Your mom started recommending books she found out about in school, and I kept reading and learning, and I started to see that the more I thought for myself, the more uncomfortable it made Pedro. So we, your mom and I, talked; we talked and talked like we always did, and we decided to ask the association if we could form a women's group. In their minds, it was going to be a clothing and recipe swap. Well, your mom and some of her college friends moved in, and we started making a nuisance of ourselves. The city council gave us a place to meet, but then took it away as soon as we complained about the lack of lighting in the park. With a bit of money we scraped together, we rented our own. I was working all hours back then, cleaning offices in Nuevos Ministerios; I'd come back and grab something to eat, a sandwich on the metro or something quick at home, not even taking time to sit down, and some nights I got out to see Pedro for a while, but I don't think I've ever been happier. Not even now that I get to sleep in, now that I spend all day at the association, seeing all of you really helping each other out. That was the first time in my life that I felt like people were listening when I talked, respecting the things I said. And not because they wanted to get me into bed, and they'd just tuned out my voice and were hearing some far-off thing I couldn't pick up on instead, but because someone understood me, they agreed with me, they thought what I had to say was worth listening to in and of itself. There was a moment when all of that, thinking something and voicing it, doing the things I said I would, the association, seemed much more important than anything Pedro could have offered me. He wanted us to move in together, and I realized the whole thing had nothing to do with love. I wasn't someone—María—but something, and something he felt he owned: his apartment, his car, his woman. This scar—and she points to her chin, a scratch that shines on white skin—I got it hurrying off the bus one day; I tripped and fell, and he did nothing, couldn't have cared less. We lasted a year after that. So no: I mean, there were never any women like us. What do you mean, María? I mean, women who are poor. You need money even to protest.


Córdoba, 1969

The baby smells of cigarettes. The first thing María notices when she picks Carmen up is that she doesn't smell anything like the other babies. The neighbors' daughter, in the apartment next to her aunt and uncle's, sometimes smells like onions, though the mother tries to cover it up with perfume; but the little boy at her place—the place where she works, María catches herself, not her own place, there's no such thing—is a few months older than her daughter, and he has a sweet scent. It's hard for María to explain—what is "a sweet scent"?—since she'd never come across anything like it, but now she picks it out in shops, in cafés. The neighbors' daughter plays with the pots and pans in the afternoon, and the boy divides his time between the crib and the portable playpen in the living room; Carmen has her own way of moving through the house, from the bedroom to the arms of her grandmother, who sits at the big table. María realizes maybe the smell of cigarettes has something to do with her family. Her mother smokes in the kitchen; her father smokes constantly; and she suspects that her brother Chico has taken to smoking in the bedroom, trusting he won't be found out. Carmen smells of cigarettes; maybe it feels to María like her daughter smells of that two-bedroom house, or maybe it's just the strangeness of sleeping there next to her.

Carmen turned one a few weeks ago, and María is home for the first time since she moved away: on the bus, she rehearsed the words she would use to describe the wide streets of Madrid, the gaps she would insert in place of the neighborhoods her aunt and uncle had implored her to avoid. She tried to strike up a conversation with the woman in the seat next to hers, talked about the weather and the differences between the two cities—the avenues, the areas people tell you to stay away from—but in return María got gibberish, monosyllables, one cliché or another. Downtime frightened her; she needed to fill it somehow. She fell asleep at points, or watched the landscape changing color: the coarse yellow soil looked more and more scorched the farther south they went.

While her daughter naps, María tries to rest, but she only gets as far as lying down on her side, eyes open, gaze fixed on the rise and fall of her chest. She whiles the time away looking for her features in Carmen's. She had remembered the soft little hands, but she'd forgotten all about that uneven chin—she has such a complex about her own. Carmen barely has any hair—it's brown, like her father's—and the little she has is so fine that María tries to avoid touching it, afraid that it might disintegrate. She's smaller than María thought—much smaller than the boy she takes care of—and her belly is still swollen. She accepts that the very pale skin must have come from her mother's side, and she has no trouble imagining her a few years younger than María is now, veins showing through on her arms and her chest. She wishes Carmen better luck.

In her memory, the entire length of her daughter fits in her open arms; she's too big for that nowadays, and María carries her on one hip instead. It's funny, María will think many years from now, how memory generates its own fictions: how what hasn't stayed with us, because we think it insignificant or because it doesn't align with our expectations, gets filled in with what we wish had happened instead. During the day, she cooks and cleans and irons and follows orders, but she sets nighttime aside for memory. Before she falls asleep, she takes herself back to her parents' house, its layout: when you go inside, there's the small entryway for hanging coats, her parents' room is on the left—the wooden headboard, the blinds almost always lowered. When the house was turned over to them, there was a living room in that space, and it's not hard for María to remember the hastily erected partitions. On the right is the room she shared with the siblings closer to her in age, Soledad and Chico, and in earlier times, with the older ones. At the back, the kitchen with the big table, and beyond that, the backyard and the toilet, which originally had been a hole in the ground—the weight of the bucket in the corner, full to the brim with water, don't forget to empty it first and fill it up after for whoever comes next. They took apart her bed, and the girl's crib now stands in its place: the same crib where her nieces, now nearly teenagers, slept, where her little brother slept. Now, eyes closed, she allows herself to revise certain moments: she doesn't get on that bus, doesn't say hello to that man, doesn't go inside that house.

María wishes she had some of the photographs she chose not to bring along when she left for Madrid, now that she's struggling to recall people's faces clearly. She kept one old photo in her suitcase—her with her dad and her sister, in the backyard—and she sometimes becomes absorbed in the way the black and white of the image makes certain marks on the wall behind them stand out. A few months after she got to Madrid, her mother sent a letter she had dictated to Chico: it made her laugh to see the careful handwriting of the first lines, accelerating in the second paragraph, the misshapen calligraphy of Take care. Her mother had included one other photograph: in it, one of her nephews was posing in front of a birthday cake, and as Chico smeared Carmen's nose with meringue, her mother sheltered the girl in her lap, cradling her head tenderly. María put it on her nightstand. She guessed that was what they had sent it for. But she put it there as a warning to her aunt: she shouldn't be fooled by her obedience. Sure, she might jump out of bed at dawn, she might cook dinner or clean the bathrooms as soon as she gets home from work, but the truth is in the photograph.

When the girl wakes up, María looks into Carmen's eyes: two black pinheads. The baby stretches, and María reacts: she sits up at the foot of the bed and cranes her neck to peer into the crib. María has grown used to the way the boy in the house twists her arm, to joking around with the neighbors' daughter; but Carmen, being hers, seems made of different stuff. Carmen shifts as if she wants to sit up: she shakes her legs, just a little at first, kicking when that doesn't work; she waves her arms, casts around for María's eyes. Finally, María stands and goes to the crib, picks up her daughter—that cigarette smell—and gathers her in her arms. Her affection induces no response in the girl. She's not kicking anymore, but she extends her little right arm. María thinks Carmen must be pointing to a threadbare stuffed animal in the corner of the bedroom. How proud she feels in that moment: Carmen is clever enough to access her memories and locate herself within them, mature enough to try to show off her toys. Is that it? Is that what's happening, or is María projecting something completely imaginary? Still holding Carmen, María picks up the stuffed animal and hands it to her, but the girl smacks it away: there are no tears, no shrieks, although the baby's movements take on a brusqueness. María takes her little left hand and places it on her chest. "Mommy," she calls herself; "Mommy," she repeats, though she knows that to Carmen, she may as well be a stranger. Carmen continues reaching out her right arm, pointing to something María doesn't see.

"What do you want, Carmen?"

Clearly, Carmen understands María's words about as well as María understands Carmen's gestures. Should she let someone know, ask for help? Chico will be working into the evening; María imagines her father lying in bed, her mother sitting at one end of the kitchen table, Soledad sewing at the other. What does her daughter need? The baby extends one arm; she points to a chest of drawers, wide and low to the ground. They've explained to her that the top drawer is Carmen's, the two below that are Chico's, the next two are Soledad's, and at the bottom, they've kept some things that belong to María. There was a time when her space was occupied by some clothing, a notebook, a thick, old enamel bracelet she found in the street and wore a few times; the bracelet she'd thrown out, and the rest she'd packed in her suitcase. But the baby, the baby now: the baby points at the chest of drawers where her mother—María's mother, Carmen's grandmother—changes her diaper every morning.


  • “Medel’s poetic sensibility is evident in rhythmic, incantatory prose, yet she also looks at the world through a good novelist’s magnifying glass . . . Medel makes room for her characters to grow into their power as women, a power they discover does not in fact lie in money.”
    The New York Times Book Review 

    The Wonders is a poet’s novel, delicate but strong, impressing its images firmly on the imagination.” 
    —Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall

    “A poetic portrait of Spanish womanhood . . . The lives of two working-class women are interleaved in a bold debut novel with flashes of beauty.” 
    The Guardian  

    “Medel captures the plight of working women who are limited by class and gender dynamics . . . Small acts of protest add up to each woman's larger fight for freedom from the confines of men, money and everlasting grief . . . Though they have made mistakes and been lonely, they have survived. And that triumph they claim for themselves.”

    The Wonders is the long-awaited novel debut by one of the best poets of the new Spanish generation. The Wonders is a novel about money—a novel about how the money we don't have defines us. It is also a novel about care, responsibilities, and expectations; about the precariousness that does not respond to the crisis but to the class, and about who will tell the stories that define our origins and our past.”
    Conde Nast Traveler 

    “A captivating novel . . . Medel’s poetic voice shines.”
    —Karla Strand, Ms. magazine

    “A mesmerizing read. Medel’s prose is hypnotic--it’s hard to believe this is her first novel. I was completely engrossed in this story, in the shadow each generation casts on the one that comes after it, in the tension between caring for oneself and caring for others.”
    Avni Doshi, author of the Booker Prize finalist Burnt Sugar  

    “A remarkable English-language debut . . . Arresting characterizations and vivid prose fuel Medel’s searing look at the impact gender, class, and financial hardships have on working-class Spanish women’s lives as the country is buffeted by wider cultural shifts. It adds up to a powerful story.”
    Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

    “Prizewinning Spanish poet Medel’s debut novel examines the lives of three generations of women in Madrid with an unsparing eye . . . The translation from Spanish of Medel’s unvarnished look at three constrained lives is unsentimental and direct.”
    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)  

    “Medel's sensitive debut, charged with feminist insights but never losing sight of the particularities of its characters, weaves together the stories of two women whose deeper connection only becomes clear as the novel approaches its end . . . Spanish novelist Medel astutely examines the forces--political, economic, familial, and personal--that have shaped the two women's richly detailed lives. Though penned in by class and gender, often in ways they do not recognize, Maria and Alicia come across not as simple victims but as struggling survivors, still open to change.”
    Booklist (starred review) 

    “I read The Wonders is one page-turning night. Yet to describe Elena Medel’s debut as gripping is to miss the point. An unflinching story about class, sex, family, and working women everywhere, this book achieves a rare combination of novelistic plotting and virtuosic interiority that left me rooting for Maria and Alicia as if I’d known them all my life." 
    Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V.  

    “Vivid and mesmerizing. The translators knocked it out of the park and the prose just oozes off the page.”
    —Adam Vitcavage, Debutiful

    “A stylistic triumph . . . Reminiscent of Elena Ferrante and Virginia Woolf, The Wonders is a stunning debut about the intersection between poverty and womanhood.”

    “Dreamlike yet precise, internal yet expansive, The Wonders moves between generations of women with a clear-eyed empathy for their struggles to be free. Medel's characters are hungry, angry, imperfect, and completely alive.”
    Adrienne Celt, author of Invitation to a Bonfire and End of the World House   

    The Wonders brings to life several generations of working women: it’s a serene and impious novel that puts class, feminism, and the eternal complexity of family ties at the fore.” 
    Mariana Enriquez, author of Things We Lost in The Fire and the Booker Prize finalist The Dangers of Smoking in Bed  

    “Reminds you of the audacity of Virginia Woolf . . . One of Spain’s best poets has become one of its most important novelists.”
    El País

On Sale
Feb 28, 2023
Page Count
256 pages
Algonquin Books