The Adventures of China Iron - Gabriela Cabezón Cámara
The adventures of Mrs China Iron, Martín Fierro’s abandoned wife, in her travels across the pampas. In English
The Adventures of China Iron
Author: Gabriela Cabezón Cámara
Translated by Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre
Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020
This is a riotous romp taking the reader from the turbulent frontier culture of the pampas deep into indigenous territories. It charts the adventures of Mrs China Iron, Martín Fierro’s abandoned wife, in her travels across the pampas in a covered wagon with her new-found friend, soon to become lover, a Scottish woman named Liz. While Liz provides China with a sentimental education and schools her in the nefarious ways of the British Empire, their eyes are opened to the wonders of Argentina’s richly diverse flora and fauna, cultures and languages, as well as to its national struggles. After a clash with Colonel Hernández (the author who ‘stole’ Martín Fierro’s poems), they eventually find refuge and a peaceful future in a utopian indigenous community, the river- dwelling Iñchiñ people.
Seen from an ox-drawn wagon, the narrative moves through the Argentinian landscape, charting the flora and fauna of the Pampas, Gaucho culture, Argentinian nation-building and British colonial projects.
In a unique reformulation of history and literary tradition, Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, with humor and sophistication, re-writes Martín Fierro from a feminist, LGBT, postcolonial point of view. She creates a hilarious novel that is nevertheless incisive in its criticism of the way societies come into being, and the way they venerate mythical heroes.
The Adventures of China Iron was shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize.
Gabriela Cabezón Cámara is one of Argentina's leading activists, known for her work on gender violence.