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Complete Works of Cecile Pineda series


184 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.00 (US $16.00) (CA $18.00)

Publication Date: November 2013

ISBN 9781609403454

Rights: WOR

Wings Press (Nov 2013)

Price: $16.00


When it was first published in 1985, Face met with critical acclaim and established Cecile Pineda among the very first Latina writers in the United States to be published by a major New York house. This new expanded edition, which marks the announcement of Face as a 2013 Neustadt Prize finalist, features a foreword by Nobel Prize–winning author J. M. Coetzee and a never-before-published interview with the author conducted by Dr. Francisco Lomelí. The novel—based on an actual event—tracks the fortunes of Helio Cara, a poor but brilliant Brazilian man. When he hears that his mother is dying, Helio rushes from his shack in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to the local telegraph office, only to fall down a steep hillside and literally lose his face, and in turn his identity. He rapidly loses his job, his lover, and his friends—his neighbor’s go so far as to burn down his shack—and flees to the Brazilian interior to live as an outcast in his mother’s tiny house. Pineda deftly, hauntingly records Helio Cara’s decision to perform self-surgery, using only novocaine, to reconstruct his face and identity. This compelling metaphor for identity, already taught in American and Latino literature courses in numerous universities, stands ready to engross a new generation of readers.


“There is an immediacy to her narrative, combined with images that startle our senses, that leave us haunted.”  —San Francisco Chronicle

“Cecile Pineda transforms our dread fears of disfigurement and ugliness into a plangent epiphany of the human spirit. . . . Pineda will be compared to Cortázar, Borges, and Márquez. Compare away, if you must; she has breathed the life of drama, the mortality of the novel, and her own special grace into what she found.”  —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A poetic, hallucinatory work, finely and sparely written.”  —Newsday

"Cecile Pineda is an American original, a literary treasure, and her prodigiously inventive and important work . . . deserves a place in the forefront of American literature."  —Bloomsbury Review

Author Biography

Cecile Pineda is the author of several novels, including Devil’s Tango, Fishlight: A Dream of Childhood, Frieze, and Love Queen of the Amazon. She is the recipient of the Californian Commonwealth Club’s Gold Medal, the Sue Kaufman Prize, and a National Book Award nomination. She lives in Berkeley, California. J. M. Coetzee is the Booker– and Nobel Prize–winning author of numerous books, including Disgrace, Foe, Life & Times of Michael K, and Waiting for the Barbarians.