Tender is the Flesh

Title: Tender is the Flesh
Author: Agustina Bazterrica
Synopsis: Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans—though no one calls them that anymore.
His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.
Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.
Publisher: Scribner
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“He tried to hate all of humanity for being so fragile and ephemeral but he couldn't keep it up because hating everyone is the same as hating no one.”

A strange virus has made all meat unsafe for humans to eat. Hello vegan paradise! In response, the governments have initiated the Transition.

Marco, heir to the local processing plant, slaughters people for human consumption. Is that Vegan? Ponder on that. His wife has left him after a horrible loss and his father is deep in the chaos of dementia. Not much of his life is left to be desired.

Enters the most amazingly beautiful human specimen he has seen. Knowing the punishment for interaction with them is a torturous death, he seeks personal contact and finds a beauty he had forgotten he lost. How can he to back to the ways things are now? Can he save his humanity and himself?

Agustina Bazterrica writes, Sarah Moses translates, with such artistic prose that I often forgot that this is a legal cannibalism story.  It touches on themes of capitalism, abuse of power, and widespread fear. How dare we question the sanity of our government when they have saved us!

So I ask you, could you eat Special Meat? 

"Trató de odiar a toda la humanidad por ser tan frágil y efímera, pero no pudo seguir así porque odiar a todos es lo mismo que no odiar a nadie".

Un virus extraño ha hecho que toda la carne sea insegura para los humanos. ¡Hola paraíso vegano! En respuesta, los gobiernos han iniciado la Transición. 

Marco, heredero de la planta procesadora local, sacrifica personas para consumo humano. ¿Eso es vegano? Reflexiona sobre eso. Su esposa lo ha dejado después de una pérdida horrible y su padre está sumido en el caos de la demencia. No queda mucho de su vida que desear. 

Entra en el espécimen humano más asombrosamente hermoso que ha visto. Sabiendo que el castigo por interactuar con ellos es una muerte tortuosa, busca el contacto personal y encuentra una belleza que había olvidado que perdió. ¿Cómo puede volver a las cosas como son ahora? ¿Puede salvar su humanidad y a sí mismo? 

Agustina Bazterrica escribe, Sarah Moses traduce, con una prosa tan artística que a menudo olvidé que se trata de una historia de canibalismo legal. Toca temas del capitalismo, abuso de poder y miedo generalizado. ¡Cómo nos atrevemos a cuestionar la cordura de nuestro gobierno cuando nos han salvado! 

Entonces te pregunto, ¿podrías comer carne especial?

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