Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World

A Novel

Sabina Berman, translated by Lisa Dillman

Henry Holt and Co.

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A transporting and brilliant comic novel narrated by an unforgettable woman: Karen Nieto, an autistic savant whose idiosyncrasies prove her greatest gifts

As intimate as it is profound, and as clear-eyed as it is warmhearted, Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World marks an extraordinary debut by the award-winning Mexican playwright, journalist, and poet Sabina Berman.

Karen Nieto passed her earliest years as a feral child, left alone to wander the vast beach property near her family's failing tuna cannery. But when her aunt Isabelle comes to Mexico to take over the family business, she discovers a real girl amidst the squalor. So begins a miraculous journey for autistic savant Karen, who finds freedom not only in the love and patient instruction of her aunt but eventually at the bottom of the ocean swimming among the creatures of the sea. Despite how far she's come, Karen remains defined by the things she can't do—until her gifts with animals are finally put to good use at the family's fishery. Her plan is brilliant: Consolation Tuna will be the first humane tuna fishery on the planet. Greenpeace approves, fame and fortune follow, and Karen is swept on a global journey that explores how we live, what we eat, and how our lives can defy even our own wildest expectations.

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Book Excerpts

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1
 
… the sea …
… and the white sand beach …
The sea flecked with sunlight all the way out to the horizon.
*   *   *
Then the white sand beach, where the waves roll in, dissolve into foam. And, up in the sky, a sun full of white fire.
*   *   *
I’m thirsty.
I’m going to stop writing and go get a glass of water.
*   *   *
And then, suddenly, 1 day, a girl, wearing socks and huaraches, sitting on a red blanket on the white sand,

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Reviews

Praise for Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World

"A brilliant revelation of a story..."–Rolling Stone (Mexico)

“A novel of extraordinary sensitivity...it will move you more than you can imagine.”–El Mundo (Spain)

"Little by little, without our realizing it, this haunting book leads us to a jarring question: Can it be that first we simply are, and only later we think?  Our heroine Karen Nieto responds with a resounding Yes! For whether or not we're aware of it, first and foremost we exist, and then we think." -- Alejandro González Iñárritu, Academy Award-nominated director of Babel and 21 Grams
 
“She’s stolen my heart.  Rebellious, misunderstood, gifted.  I can’t get her out of my head.  An unforgettable tale about the freedom to be different.”
–Ana María Matute, winner of the Cervantes Prize (2010) and author of Celebration in the Northwest
 
"Gifted Mexican playwright and novelist Sabina Berman's Me, Who Dove Into the Heart of the World has won my heart, and will yours.  This untamed, disarming wild child who sits on the beach of a Mexican fishing village, shouting at the sea, slowly learns to explore and fully inhabit her intensely felt universe.  Karen Nieto, who progresses from inarticulate niece, to tuna boathand, scuba diver, college savant, marine ecologist, business tycoon, world traveler -- and, yes, even total failure -- offers her readers an unforgettable glimpse of the delights, the comedy and the heartbreak each of us ultimately experiences as we dive into the heart of the tenuous, ever-changing world."
--Laura Esquivel, author of Like Water for Chocolate

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About the Author

Sabina Berman, translated by Lisa Dillman

Sabina Berman is a four-time winner of the Mexican National Theatre Prize for her plays; she also writes filmscripts, poetry, prose, and journalism, and has published several novellas. Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World, which will be published in twenty-five territories, is her first novel. She lives in Mexico.

Lisa Dillman teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University and has translated numerous works of fiction by Argentine, Mexican, Catalan, and Spanish writers. She lives in Decatur, Georgia.

Sabina Berman

Isabelle Tardan
Sabina Berman

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Available Formats and Book Details

Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World
A Novel
Sabina Berman, translated by Lisa Dillman

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
August 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429974325
ISBN10: 142997432X
256 pages
$9.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
August 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805093254
ISBN10: 0805093257
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages
$24.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
July 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312556136
ISBN10: 0312556136
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages
$15.00
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Henry Holt and Co.

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