Fiction | $16.95
paperback, 326 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978-1-937658-84-7

A visceral new translation of Hilda Hilst’s radical first novel

 Fluxo-Floema is a detective novel of sorts—pornographic, scatological, and spiritual—that ultimately references the failure and success of writing. It’s about vocabulary, astrology, dramaturgy, science, a story within a story within a story. It’s a celestial map to social interaction and the failure of connection, a crafted examination of the distortions of religion and piety. Here we, the reader, visit nonsense, pathos, violence, and the flights of fancy of human coexistence.

“In these an-ontological tales, Hilda Hilst breaks glass before we know there is glass between us and the teeming of reality—the glass now broken, Hilst’s circling proses resonate not just from page to page, but through the pages, as if bound paper or screen pixels were themselves porosities subject to the flux-oh of flowed language. Alexandra Joy Forman takes up the challenge brilliantly in her rerouting of the flow, unexhausting this marvel of a work in an English that travels fluctuating, infatuating, multifoliate—it graces and awakens us all at once.”—ERÍN MOURE

“Hilst has been creating work whose raw essence is drawn from a world of chaos that has slipped off-center (since losing its sacred core.)”—NELLY NOVAES COELHO


Originally published in 1969, this experimental novel by Brazilian Hilst (With My Dog Eyes) weaves the quest to understand the soul into a spectacle of the written word. The writer Ruiska barricades himself behind a steel door to work, but instead falls into conversation with a dwarf, the manifestation of “everything that comes from beneath within” him. The dwarf confronts Ruiska, accusing him of making up stories because he doesn’t understand his “inner metaphysics.” A different writer takes a more active stance, joining with his pederast brother and lesbian sister to form a “tripartite face in search of its primary identity.” The biblical Lazarus, arriving at “the only monastery left on earth,” is informed that the clergy there have “learned that none of what we desired was within us.” As Hilst shifts from narrator to narrator, her inquiry grows ever more dreamlike. Her “tripartite” narrator is transformed into a unicorn, and then a spider. Another narrator defies even these far-fetched embodiments, proclaiming, “I span my own limits.” Hilst’s immersive prose subverts conventional interpretation, creating instead an evocative experience that answers the need for self-actualization with love of language for its own sake.—Publishers Weekly