cover of book

Myth of Pterygium
by Diego Gerard Morrison
Autumn House Press, 2022
Paper: 978-1-63768-029-2 | eISBN: 978-1-63768-030-8
Library of Congress Classification PQ7298.423.O775M98 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 863.7

The story of a failed poet struggling with vision loss, personal crises, and what it means to be an arms dealer in a quasi-dystopian Mexico City.
This debut novel is set in a vaguely dystopian, yet also realistic, Mexico City—endless traffic jams, relentless clouds of pollution, economic hardships, and the ever-present threat of drug cartels. The unnamed narrator of the novel, at times referred to as Arthur—in part because of the growing similarity of his life with Arthur Rimbaud’s—struggles with the dissonance of leading an artistic life while providing for his family. A failed, penniless poet with a child on the way, he is forced to take a job in his family’s weapons dealing enterprise, which he soon discovers is connected to the corrupt Mexican armed forces and drug cartels, who are responsible for the increasing death toll in the country. All the while, the narrator struggles with a growing condition in his right eye, a pterygium, that is slowly taking over his vision, blurring the events of his life, including his wife’s complicated pregnancy, extortions by the drug cartels, and his own relationship to his writing. As the narrator gradually finds his life spiraling out of control, the novel moves quickly to a startling conclusion.

Myth of Pterygium is the winner of the 2021 Autumn House Rising Writer Prize in Fiction, selected by Maryse Meijer.

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