Dogs of Summer: A Novel (Hardcover)
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"Read this coming-of-age story for its unsparing language and vivid sense of place."
—The New York Times
My Brilliant Friend meets Blue is the Warmest Color in this lyrical debut novel set in a working-class neighborhood of the Canary Islands—a story about two girls coming of age in the early aughts and a friendship that simmers into erotic desire over the course of one hot summer.
High near the volcano of northern Tenerife, an endless ceiling of cloud cover traps the working class in an abject, oppressive heat. Far away from the island’s posh resorts, two girls dream of hitching a ride down to the beach and escaping their horizonless town.
It’s summer, 2005, and our ten-year-old narrator is consumed by thoughts of her best friend Isora. Isora is rude and bossy, but she’s also vivacious and brave; grownups prefer her, and boys do, too. That's why sometimes she gets jealous of Isora, who already has hair on her vagina and soft, round breasts. But she's definitely not jealous that Isora’s mother is dead, nor that Isora's fat, foul-mouthed grandmother has her on a diet, so that she is constantly sticking her fingers down her throat. Besides, she would do anything for Isora: gorge herself on cakes when her friend wants to watch, follow her to the bathroom when she takes a shit, log into chat rooms to swap dirty instant messages with strangers. But increasingly, our narrator finds it hard to keep up with Isora, who seems to be growing up at full tilt without her—and as her submissiveness veers into a painful sexual awakening, desire grows indistinguishable from intimate violence.
Braiding prose poetry with bachata lyrics and the gritty humor of Canary dialect, Dogs of Summer is a story of exquisite yearning, a brutal picture of girlhood and a love song written for the vital community it portrays.
About the Author
Andrea Abreu was born in 1995 in Tenerife, Spain. In 2021, Granta named her one of the best Spanish writers under the age of 35. Dogs of Summer, her debut novel, will be translated into 16 languages and adapted for the screen by El Estudio.
"Emotionally resonant...Abreu's exhilarating chronicle of a young friendship is not to be missed."
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"In playful language, Abreu beautifully evokes a land of 'light stored for so many thousands of years', and an era of telenovelas and the birth of the internet, in which Pokémon and Bratz dolls give way to sexual discovery."
—John Self, The Guardian
"Like the portrayals of girls in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, Abreu offers brave and unvarnished renderings of complicated female friendships, painful sexual awakenings (with an LGBTQ twist), and gritty dialects, but she is in a category by herself. Her prose is bold and direct, and her characterization of two similar but different girls on the cusp of adolescence is as vivid as anything being written today."
—June Sawyers, Booklist
"Whip-smart. Angular. Dreamy yet lucid, and cathartically brutal."
—Brontez Purnell, author of 100 Boyfriends
“Bold, dazzling, hilarious. Andrea Abreu is a lively meteorite in the landscape of Hispanic literature.”
—Fernanda Melchor, author of Hurricane Season
"Andrea Abreu’s characters, like her sentences, are bold and wild. Reminiscent of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s The Discomfort of Evening, Abreu’s writing twirls and clacks with tactile precision, like winding a cassette tape with a No. 2 pencil. I’ll return to Dogs of Summer whenever I crave a searing, brutal shot of life."
—Gabriella Burnham, author of It is Wood, It is Stone
"This slim novel's scope and intensity are shockingly, magnificently large, and the sentences blast off the pages with all the sordidness and wonder of early adolescence. Readers will be unable to resist the spell of Dogs of Summer, a hilarious, devastating story that is brilliantly attuned to the erotics of friendship, the intoxicating muddle of identification and desire, and the power of both the sublime and the profane. The unforgettable girls at the center of Andrea Abreu's moving debut are two of the liveliest fictional creations I've come across in quite a long time."
—Jamel Brinkley, author of A Lucky Man
"Dogs of Summer will thump through your heart and mind. A novel that consumes and sentences to die for."
—Amina Cain, author of Indelicacy
“Dogs of Summer is like the tide. A force of nature. It drags you. It submerges you. And, all of a sudden, it leaves you stranded on a rich and prophetic insular world of women and low, grey, clouds that merge with the sea. It is pure poetry. A book that carries you and makes you feel a place.”
—Pilar Quintana, author of The Bitch