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    The Muddy Season

    Matthew Raymond

    “Pulling her blue and wet from her mother and saying quietly, Life is suffering, the midwife smacked her”—and, thus, the reader finds herself thrust into the damp murk of afterbirth and the muddy season: into an absolutely captivating story that is as unflinching as it is bewitching. Told in four parts, The Muddy Season is a sophisticated, scorching story whose narrative choreography unfurls in an electrifying dance between soldiers and villagers, a girl and an agent. With a literary nod to the great innovative novelists Julio Cortázar and John Fowles, Raymond upends conventional fiction, while maintaining the brutal realism of the world’s bureaucracies and oppressions. Analogous to the two central characters in section IV, in which one character leads and the other trails “into the dark of the jungle beyond,” when this author beckons, I too must follow.

    —Simone Muench, author of Wolf Centos, Trace, and Orange Crush

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