Dead Girls (Chicas muertas)

They were the ones behind the “feminicides”

The feminicide of María Luisa Quevedo, which occurred in Argentina in the 1980s, awakens the conscience of a young woman, Selva, because from that event on she begins to distinguish the symptoms of a chronic illness in society. As she grows up, Selva decides to do a journalistic investigation of three feminicides that occurred during her youth: María Luisa, Andrea Danne and Sara Mundín. She reviews police reports and talks to the girls’ living relatives.

María Luisa Quevedo was 15 years old and worked in a hotel near her home, it is believed that after her workday she went out with two friends and three friends. Her body was found dead days after her disappearance. Maria Luisa’s brother has spent years trying to find answers to her crime, even opting for stories closer to an espionage novel than to reality.

Andrea Danne was 20 years old and sleeping in her room when she was stabbed in the heart and killed. That same night she had refused to attend a dance because she had to prepare for an exam she never took. Her boyfriend organized marches to demand justice. Years later, a girl is arrested for drug trafficking, during her interrogation she says she knows who killed Andrea: a businessman of Chinese origin and his assistant. Everything turns out to be a lie.

Sara Mundín was a young mother of 20 years old who had an older lover, with whom she left one day and never returned. In December of that same year her identity was attributed to a corpse that did not correspond. Her lover was apprehended and quickly released, to the frustration of her mother and sister.

When the economic resources and the ways for the investigation were exhausted, Selva went to a tarot reader to try to find answers. Selva was not the only one who looked for a solution in the supernatural: María Luisa’s parents went to see a psychic who predicted that in 3 days they would obtain information. Andrea’s boyfriend crossed to Uruguay to meet with a famous clairvoyant. Magic seems to be the only way to get to the truth in the face of such a desolate panorama.

In the various tarot sessions, the cards show that Maria Luisa did not understand what happened to her, life was still very new to her, but she is happy that her brother has her as a purpose; that Andrea had a lover who committed suicide after learning of her death, but he did not kill her; that Sarita was never found, the tarot reader believes that she was alive until recently.

It is the tarotist who tells her the legend of the Bone Maker: an old woman who gathers the bones of wolves, joins them together and remakes the skeleton, to which she sings so that it comes to life, the wolf, now with a body, runs away and transforms into a woman who runs freely towards the horizon, laughing. She suggests to him that perhaps that is his mission: to gather the bones of the girls, put them together, give them a voice and then let them run free to wherever they need to go.


RELEVANT DATA: Dead Girls is a moving story, inspired by real life events, reminiscent of the works of Truman Capote, Rodolfo Walsh and Francisco Mouat. With touches of police chronicle and thriller, Selva Almada gives us a story that has repercussions on contemporary society and about which it is necessary to talk.

The book was Finalist for the Rodolfo Walsh Award during the Gijón Black Week for the best work of black genre non-fiction.

Selva Almada has been compared to Carson McCullers, William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, and she is one of the most recognized writers in Argentina and Latin America.

The author won the First Book Award from the Edinburgh International Book Festival. In addition, he has been a finalist for the Tigre Juan Prize (Spain) with his novel Brickmakers.


What the critics said:

“Selva Almada reinvents the rural imagination of a country. (…) An author endowed with unusual power and sensitivity.” Rolling Stone

“Selva Almada is one of the fundamental storytellers of the 21st century.” Cinema and Literature Magazine

“Almada draws characters —those you passed and those who are still alive— subjugated, locked in an oppressive life without ventilation. In Dead Girls, destiny has the aroma of Greek tragedy: immutable, irreversible, fatal.” The country


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES: French, English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian and Turkish.

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