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Proceed With Caution
Proceed With Caution

Proceed With Caution

Stories and a Novella


171 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $15.99 (US $15.99) (CA $20.99)

Publication Date: January 2021

ISBN 9781943156849

Rights: WOR

Schaffner Press (Jan 2021)
Schaffner Press, Inc.


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A powerful collection brimming with human emotion, animal instinct, and a sense of wonder and mystery that announces the arrival of a formidable new voice in translated literature

 In the tradition of surrealist masters Julio Cortázar and Leonora Carrington, and joining contemporaries Guadalupe Nettel (Bezoar & Other Unsettling Stories) and Samanta Schweblin (Mouthful of Birds), Argentine writer Patricia Ratto's English language debut collection, Proceed With Caution, offers an alternate reality that is both mysterious and familiar. Whether it's a malevolent act born from the paranoia of living under a totalitarian regime, or the creeping sense of dread blanketing a small whaling town, the stories in Proceed With Caution linger in the memory, and make us question where the natural world ends and the supernatural begins. In "Rara Avis" a baby bird is rescued after dropping from the sky, only to transform from vulnerable creature to life-threatening menace. In the powerfully moving title story, an old woman lives out her final days accompanied by a mysterious doglike being that provides comfort even as it devours her memories. And in the novella "Submerged," an Argentine submarine crew during the Falklands War of the early 1980s navigates its way through a claustrophobic nightmare of boredom and terror, where the very meaning of being alive is cast in doubt. Translated from the Spanish by PEN/Heim award-winner Andrea G. Labinger, Proceed With Caution is a striking collection, brimming with emotion, animal instinct, and a sense of wonder that announces the arrival of a compelling new voice in Latin American literature.


"Seldom has the clandestine nature of observation been so luminous as in Patricia Ratto's excellent Proceed With Caution." —Terese Svoboda, Author of Great American Desert

"Argentinian writer Ratto's revalatory [...] English-language debut collects stories and a novella featuring intensely watchful, unassuming narrators who imbue the stories with a sense of foreboding." —Publishers Weekly

Author Biography

Andrea G. Labinger has published numerous translations of Latin American fiction. Gesell Dome, her translation of Guillermo Saccomanno's noir novel Cámara Gesell (Open Letter 2016), won a PEN/Heim Translation Award and was long-listed for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses' Firecracker Award. Her most recent translation is Saccomanno's 77 (Open Letter 2019). PATRICIA RATTO is an Argentine writer and teacher. Her books, published by Adriana Hidalgo editor, are: Pequeños hombres blancos (Little White Men, novel, 2006), Nudos (Knots, novel, 2008), Trasfondo (Submerged, novel, 2012) and Faunas (Wildlife, short stories, 2017). Many of her short stories are also part of literary magazines and anthologies. Her novels have been translated into Italian. She has published articles on literature, literary writing, reader training and writing at school. She has participated in numerous literary festivals, congresses and book fairs, both in her country and abroad. It also coordinates literary reading and writing workshops. Her novel Trasfondo, which chronicles the participation of the ARA San Luis submarine in the Falklands War in 1982, will be taken to the cinema by Argentine filmmaker Pablo Giorgelli, director of Las acacias and Invisible and winner of the Cannes Chamber of Gold Award, among other awards