House of Mist A Novel

FSG Classics

María Luisa Bombal

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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First published in Argentina in 1938, House of Mist stands as one of the first South American novels written in the style that was later called magical realism. This is the story of a young bride struggling with her marriage to an aloof landowner—and the mysteries surrounding their life together—in a house deep in the lush Chilean woods. In the prologue, Bombal describes her own book as "a mystery without murder," but one for "those for whom fear has an attraction; those who are interested in the mysterious life people live in their dreams during sleep; those who believe that the dead are not really dead; those who are afraid of the fog and of their own hearts." Bombal invites those readers back in time, to early twentieth-century South America, where a young woman has made a home for herself in a strange house of mist.


Praise for House of Mist

"Bombal—with her bold disregard for simple realism in favor of a heightened reality in which the external world reflects the internal truth of the characters' feeling, and with her deliberate mingling of fantasy, memory and event—is the precursor of the magical realism that is the flower of South American writing today . . . [the novel] awake[s] a feeling of genuine discovery, of minds and hearts not borrowed from European literature but indigenous to a New World of thought and feeling."—Penelope Mesic, Chicago Tribune
"One of the most outstanding representatives of the avant-garde in Latin America. [Her] themes of erotic frustration, social marginality, and cosmic transcendence must be considered as a profound expression of women's predicament presented through a feminine perspective."—Women Writers of Spanish America

"[Bombal introduces] innovative narrative techniques that imbue the text with an elusive, otherworldly quality . . . mesmerizing . . . [Lures] the reader into other dimensions while at the same time exposing disturbing social realities . . . Bombal is a master craftsman."—Barbara Mujica, Américas Magazine

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  • María Luisa Bombal

  • María Luisa Bombal was a Chilean novelist and short story writer. Among her other novels is The Shrouded Woman.